By Randy Russon
Alex Sawruk has been promoted to full-time associate coach with the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League.
The 34-year old Sawruk, who hails from the Michigan Soo, was a volunteer assistant with the Eagles in 2013-2014.
Sawruk will continue to work alongside holdover assistants Joe
Behling and Bill Vanderleest under Eagles coach-general manager Bruno
Bragagnolo, who is about to enter his fifth season with the Eagles
(his third in the NAHL and previous two when the team was part of the
Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League), said Sawruk’s “hard work,
dedication and understanding of the game have not gone un-noticed by our
“Our players not only like Alex but they respect him,” added
Bragagnolo, who noted that Eagles owner Ron Lavin also endorsed the
promotion of Sawruk.
Sawruk has an impressive hockey background as a player.
He skated as a forward in the NAHL for the erstwhile Soo Indians, who
were coached by Joe Shawhan, who is now an assistant with the Michigan
Tech Huskies of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Sawruk also played in the NAHL for the erstwhile Detroit Compuware
Ambassadors and in the United States Hockey League with the Des Moines
Buccaneers before going on to a four-year career as a dependable forward
at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level with
the Northern Michigan Wildcats.
Former coaches of Sawruk — including Shawhan and Walt Kyle of
Northern Michigan — speak highly of their former player, who finished up
his active career a few years back at the minor-pro level.
Sawruk, to be sure, is thankful for the opportunity to move up in the coaching ranks of the NAHL Eagles.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity that Ron and Bruno are
giving me for this upcoming season. This was an easy decision for me as
I know we have a very solid core of returning players. I believe
playing this year in a renovated Pullar Stadium is going to continue to
bring a lot of excitement to the community, and for the Eagles,” said