MACON, G.A. – The Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League officially announced Zac Desjardins as the team’s fifth Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations in franchise history on Tuesday afternoon.
“As we began our head coaching search, Zac [Desjardins] immediately stood out as a prime candidate,” said Team President Blair Floyd. “After getting to know Zac Desjardins during the interview process, we are confident Zac is the guy to lead the Mayhem going forward. He has a proven track record of moving guys up through the junior ranks and spent 4 years with the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL under Rob Murray who has been a great teacher. We know Zac is going excel in our league and continue helping develop players for the next level. He is a captivating leader who will command the locker room and continue the Mayhem’s history of excellence.”
Zac Desjardins has served as the Assistant Coach for the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL for the past four seasons. While with the Tulsa Oilers, he helped to lead the team to a 132-107-40 record including an appearance in the conference finals in the 2018 – 2019 season. Desjardins has also coached quite a few familiar names to Mayhem fans while in Tulsa as Sam Wilbur, Alex Kromm, Ryan Smith, Dean Balsamo, and Nick Minerva have all spent time under Desjardin’s tutelage.
Zac Desjardins, a native of Calgary, AB, played junior hockey in the SJHL and AWHL. After hanging up the skates, Desjardins started his coaching career at Kent State University. In 2007, he began to coach junior hockey as the assistant coach for the Cambellton Tigers and would continue to coach junior hockey for various organizations before joining Tulsa. Desjardins has spent a large majority of his life in Denver where he worked as a hockey camp coordinator and instructor for some of the top junior hockey talent in the area.
Interestingly, Desjardin’s hockey mentor of 20 plus years, John Paris Jr., has some unique ties to hockey in Macon. Paris Jr., the first black person to coach a professional hockey team, coached the Atlanta Knights and led them to the Turner Cup championship in 1994. After his tenure in Atlanta, John Paris Jr. would then coach the Macon Whoopee for three seasons starting with their inaugural season in 1996.
“Leaving Tulsa is bittersweet for me. That city has been a major part of my life and my career. It’s where I met my wife Kelly and where I’ve built my professional career off and on for eight years,” said new Head Coach Zac Desjardins. “I’m excited to be in Macon though; it’s a bit of a small world moment for me as my mentor, John Paris Jr., spent several years of his career here. Getting to be a head coach is a wonderful opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to challenging myself and our players to be the best we can be.”
Desjardins’ focus will now turn to preparing for the upcoming season and filling out the rest of the Mayhem’s training camp roster. Training camp is slated to begin on October 1st with the Mayhem’s regular season starting with a road matchup against the Knoxville Ice Bears on October 15th. The puck will drop at the Macon Coliseum for the first time in the 2021-22 season on October 29th as the Mayhem take on the Fayetteville Marksmen.
For more information on the upcoming season or 2021 – 2022 season tickets, visit www.maconmayhem.com or call the Mayhem front office at (478) 803-1592.