Jean Guy Trudel Extended – Alec Hagaman Named Associate Head Coach

May 14, 2023 - 11:55 am

PEORIA, IL – The Peoria Rivermen are proud to announce that head Coach Jean-Guy Trudel’s contract has been extended through the 2023-24 season. In addition, former Rivermen captain and Peoria native Alec Hagaman will be joining Trudel on the bench as Associate Head Coach for the 2023-24 season.


Both Trudel and Hagaman have been staples of the Peoria hockey community and of the Rivermen over the past eight years. Under their watch the Rivermen have finished in the top three of the Southern Professional Hockey League in every season of operation, have claimed five regular season titles, appeared in four President’s Cup Finals, and ended Peoria’s 22-year championship drought in 2022. Now they are combining their wealth of knowledge and expertise, both on and off of the ice, to lead the Rivermen forward into their 42nd season.


“For us it’s a win-win situation when we can bring back our legendary franchise winningest head coach to continue what he has always done, overseeing an exceptional hockey department both on and off the ice,” said Rivermen President and COO Bart Rogers. “And to bring on Alec Hagaman, someone who has given so much to Peoria, to enhance our hockey department, and allow him to learn under the best coach in minor league hockey, will only strengthen the future of our franchise.”


Jean-Guy Trudel will enter his tenth season, and eleventh year, as the Peoria Rivermen’s 19th head coach in franchise history. In the past nine seasons, Trudel has amassed a 325-113-57 regular season record and a 25-16-4 playoff record with the Rivermen. This places him second to Columbus’ Jerome Bechard in Southern Professional Hockey League career coaching victories (368). Trudel’s winning percentage in the SPHL (.714) paces all coaches in the league’s history.


The native of Sudbury, Ontario has translated his coaching success to five SPHL regular season titles, four finals appearances, and one President’s Cup championship for Peoria in 2022. It marked the Rivermen’s first league title since 2000. Trudel has also captured the SPHL Coach of the Year award three times (2014-15, 15-16, and 17-18), becoming the first coach in SPHL history to win the award more than once. He is the third former player in Rivermen history to return to Peoria to guide the team as head coach.


After a distinguished nine-year professional playing career, Alec Hagaman will step behind the bench for the first time as an Associate Head Coach for the Rivermen this season. Hagaman, a native of Peoria, played with the Rivermen for eight seasons and served as Peoria’s captain for three campaigns. A four-year veteran of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (NCAA-D3), Hagaman broke onto the SPHL scene during the 2014-15 season with the Rivermen. Under the guidance of Trudel, Hagaman became a vital lynchpin of many Rivermen squads including teams that made the President’s Cup Finals three years in a row from 2016-2018, and helped Peoria to five first-place finishes in his eight years with the Rivermen. A time-President’s Cup Champion, Hagaman first won the SPHL’s ultimate prize as a member of the Pensacola Ice Flyers in 2020, while the Rivermen were idle due to COVID-19, before capturing the title again with the Rivermen during the 2021-22 campaign. The 2022-23 season was Hagaman’s final year on the ice, yet it was no less memorable. That season Hagaman became the only player in SPHL history to score over 400 points while playing in over 400 career games.


Hagaman currently ranks third in career SPHL points (404), third in career games played (423), fourth in career goals (167), and fourth in career penalty minutes (1179). In Rivermen franchise history Hagaman ranks second and third in games played and goals scored respectively.


“It’s another dream come true for me,” said Hagaman. “I’m super excited to stay a part of the Rivermen organization and being able to learn and grow as a coach by learning from Guy [Trudel] is very exciting!”


This season will be Hagaman’s first year behind the bench with Jean-Guy Trudel. He will join an auspicious group of former players under Trudel who have broken into the SPHL coaching ranks. The list includes former Rivermen captains Dave Pszenyczny currently with the Quad City Storm and Dan Bremner who most recently won a President’s Cup Championship with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. Both men are former teammates of Hagaman.


“I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue building the Rivermen’s culture with Alec by my side but in a different role,” said Trudel. “He will be a great asset for me and for the Rivermen organization.”


Season tickets for the 42nd season of Rivermen hockey are available now! Fans can call the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040 to secure their tickets or click HERE! Be sure to follow the Rivermen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and updates.