Suns News

Ron Filion Named Roadrunners
Head Coach

New Roadrunners Head Coach Ron Filion and assistant coach J.J. Daigneault flank Team President Claude Lemiuex at Monday's press conference at America West Arena.
(Josh Greene/Suns.com)
Posted: Feb. 28, 2005

PHOENIX – Ron Filion, whose resume includes a diverse background in professional hockey coaching, has been selected as the head coach of Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL, as announced today by Roadrunners President Claude Lemieux.

Filion, 39, has coached professionally in the U.S. and France, having spent five seasons with the Cholet Dogs of the European First Division. While in Cholet, Filion led the Dogs to a league championship in 1997. His professional coaching experience also includes serving as an assistant coach with the ECHL Augusta Lynx and the West Coast Hockey League Tucson Gila Monsters.

“Ron Filion’s experience in player development makes him an ideal choice to serve as our head coach,” Lemieux said. “We are excited to have Ron as a part of our organization.”

Former NHL player J.J. Daigneault will serve as assistant coach and director of player development. Daigneault brings 17 years of playing experience, and recently served as a player-coach in the Swiss Elite Hockey League. Daigneault was a member of the 1993 Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens, and was a member of the 1984 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team.

“The goal of the Phoenix Roadrunners is to win, and to provide the great hockey fans of Phoenix with a team they can be proud of,” said Lemeiux. “In Ron Filion and J.J. Daigneault, we have a coaching staff that will enable us to achieve that goal.”

Introduced earlier this month by the investment group that owns and operates the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers and Phoenix Mercury, and operates America West Arena, the Roadrunners will begin play in the ECHL in October, bringing back professional hockey to Downtown Phoenix.

The ECHL is considered the premier “AA” league in the world, and works with both the AAA-level leagues and the NHL in player development. Since its inception in 1988, the league has produced 256 players who have appeared in NHL uniforms. The Roadrunners join 27 other teams in the league. Teams play a 72-game regular season, with AWA set to host 36 games next season.

The Roadrunners will play in the National Conference West Division with teams in Alaska, Bakersfield, Fresno, Idaho, Las Vegas, Long Beach, San Diego and Victoria, British Columbia.

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