With six championship rings to his credit, Serge Lajoie stands as one of the most decorated and accomplished Golden Bears hockey alumni ever.
In his time as a defenceman, assistant coach and head coach with the perennial powerhouse U of A program, Lajoie won a combined four Canadian university national championships, one as a player, two as an assistant coach and one as a head coach.
As a player, he also captured the Wilson Challenge Trophy as the U of A’s top male athlete, and the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the Canadian university men’s hockey player of the year. He also won two provincial college championships as head coach and two Coach of the Year awards.
Originally from Bonnyville, Lajoie first joined the Golden Bears in 1988 as a defenceman under the tutelage of Clare Drake. Over five seasons he recorded 141 points, including 105 assists, in 198 overall games in the Evergreen and Gold sweater, winning four Canada West titles and one national championship.
After a five year professional playing career in Germany, he began to share his experiences, successes, expertise and knowledge to the benefit of kids, volunteers and hockey communities throughout Canada as coach, mentor, volunteer and speaker. He began as a teacher at Donnan School and Vimy Ridge Academy, and he started his successful coaching career as an assistant coach with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders.
In 2005-06, he joined the Golden Bears coaching staff and stayed until 2009-10, helping the team win two national championships. During this time Lajoie also earned his Master's degree, with a focus on culture, becoming the inaugural graduate of the University of Alberta’s Master of Coaching degree.
He then advanced to head coach, taking the job with the NAIT Ooks hockey program for five seasons, where he guided the program to Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference titles in 2013 and 2015, and earning the ACAC Coach of the Year Award twice. He has also coached in the Western Hockey League and with Team Alberta and with Team Canada.
From his days as a one of the top players in the nation, to his time as a championship calibre teacher and mentor behind the bench, Serge Lajoie is an exemplary addition to the Sports Wall of Fame, and an strong example of the tradition of excellence within the Golden Bears and Pandas programs.