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Willie Desjardins

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Williedesjardins

Willie Desjardins (born February 11, 1957 in Climax, Saskatchewan) is the associate coach of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. Until July 2010 he was the General Manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.

Willie began his hockey career playing for the Lethbridge Broncos from 1974 through 1977. He followed his junior hockey career by studying at the University of Saskatchewan and played with the Huskies under then head coach Dave King. Willie began his coaching career at the University of Calgary in 1985 as assistant coach and became head coach in 1989. Willie then coached the Seibu Bears in Japan. He then returned to Canada and became head coach of the Saskatoon Blades midway through the 1997 season. He was then offered a job as an assistant coach for the Canadian National Team.

Once hired by the Medicine Hat Tigers, Willie was instrumental in the Tigers first playoff appearance in five years in the 2002–2003 season, leading them to a Memorial Cup appearance and their 4th WHL championship in 2003–2004, and a 96 point Eastern Conference regular season champion 2004–2005 season. Willie Desjardins took on the duties of General Manager for the 2005–2006 season. He remained with the team until July 2010.

In 2005-06 Willie was awarded the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy for the Coach of the Year in the Western Hockey League and the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award in the the Canadian Hockey league.

He was the assistant coach of the Canadian team in the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and the head coach of the team in the 2010 World Junior Championship.

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