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Changing of the Guard for Prep Boys Hockey

Stanstead’s prep boys hockey team will see a change in the coaching staff for the 2022-2023 season. James Rioux will be stepping down as head coach after 7 years to focus solely on his role as Director of Hockey Operations. Taking his place will be former NHL player Olivier Magnan. Coaching by his side and continuing his responsibilities with the team will be assistant coach, Guy Ouellet.
Stanstead College has a deep history with hockey, and in recent years, thanks to Mr. Rioux’s leadership, the school has been able to develop five high-level teams for boys and girls. As the program grows, so does its needs for attention, thus the decision by Mr. Rioux to focus his time on operations.
 
Mr. Rioux ended his tenure with the prep boys on a high note, achieving a season record of 28-10-1 and earning a berth in the RSEQ provincial championship tournament. The team finished first in the Metropolitan twelve team league, as well as going the distance in the playoffs, winning three rounds before falling short in the playoff final in an exciting shootout loss.
 
“Although I will miss being on the ice and behind the bench, this change will allow me to dedicate more time to managing the needs of our entire program,” said Mr. Rioux. “I am very excited that Olivier will be joining the Stanstead College community, for he has much experience and knowledge of the game. Most importantly, he is fantastic person. He is tremendously calm, and a devoted family man. I am really looking forward to working with him, and I am confident that our players will develop under his guidance.”           
 
About James Rioux, Director of Hockey Operations
Mr. Rioux began teaching at Stanstead College in 2001 and joined the varsity boys program as an assistant coach. In 2010, he became the Director of Hockey Operations and the head coach of the varsity boys team. After four years, Mr. Rioux shifted to being the head coach of the prep boys program. Since then, he has developed the program to what we know it as today. Over the past 20 years, James Rioux has over 1,000 games under his belt and has yet to experience a losing season.
 
About Olivier Magnan, Prep Boys Head Coach
Olivier Magnan is a native of the Eastern Townships, growing up and playing hockey in Sherbrooke. In the 2002 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) draft, Mr. Magnan was drafted in the third round to Val-D’Or. The defensemen spent his whole QMJHL career playing for Rouyn-Noranda, appearing in 236 games, recording 20 goals and 55 assists.
 
In the 2006 NHL draft, Mr. Magnan was drafted in the fifth round to the New Jersey Devils. He spent the next 5 years playing 45 games in the East Coast Hockey League, 296 games in the American Hockey League and 18 games in the 2010-11 National Hockey League season with the Devils.
 
From 2011 to 2021, he spent his time playing in Europe. He started his European career in 2011-2012 season for Pustertal/Val Pusteria Hockey Club. Mr. Magnan then played the next 9 years in Austria for the Dornbirner Bulldogs. In his fifth season, he was named assistant captain and then later becoming the captain. The last three years of his career, he took on more responsibility by becoming penalty coach specialist. In total, he appeared in 490 games, 33 goals and 124 assists.
 
Mr. Magnan is already familiar with Stanstead College hockey, having spent the last year working as an occasional consultant with the various teams.
 
Currently, he resides in Orford, Quebec with his wife Genevieve and two children, Benjamin (11) and Florance (8). In addition to assuming the role as head coach of the prep team, he will be working with all our hockey program as a new developmental coach.
 
“Joining Stanstead College as a coach is one of the most exciting challenges I have ever taken,” said Mr. Magnan. “I’m looking forward to developing the already good hockey program they have in place now. My family is happy we could find such a great opportunity in the Townships.”
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