May 1, 2023
Jerry Serviss, who guided the 1975-76 CCAA champion St. Clair College Saints from Windsor, will become the fourth hockey coach in the CCAA Hall of Fame on June 13th in Niagara Falls joining Bucky Buchanan, Al Ferchuk & Perry Pearn.
Hockey brought the Moose Jaw native to the Automobile Capital of Canada. After serving as captain of the Estevan Bruins (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League), the Regina Pats (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) added him to their roster for the 1958 Memorial Cup. He then relocated to Ontario so he could experience senior hockey first with the Cornwall Chevies (Ontario Hockey Association Senior 'A' Hockey League) and then with the Windsor Bulldogs (Ontario Hockey Association Senior 'A' Hockey League). The highlight of his playing career occurred on April 26, 1963 when the Bulldogs won the Allan Cup.
While some transition to coaching after being a playing-coach, Serviss coached the Riverside Regents (Border Cities Junior 'B' Hockey League) while playing for the Bulldogs. He later served as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires (Southern Ontario Junior 'A' Hockey League) and the Flint Generals (International Hockey League).
In the summer of 1975, Serviss assumed the reins of the Saints who were silver medalists at the inaugural CCAA National Hockey Championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia a few months earlier. One of his teammates with the 1962-63 Allan Cup champion Bulldogs, Jack Costello coached St. Clair to four conference titles and was the athletic director at the campus.No men's hockey coach in the history of the NCAA, the CCAA, and U Sports has had a better start to their post-secondary coaching career than Serviss. On November 1st, 1975 in Windsor, Serviss made his debut behind the St. Clair bench and the Saints blanked the Sheridan College Bruins 6-0. On February 10th, 1977 in Oakville, the Bruins edged the Saints 5-4. In the interim, the Saints recorded the longest unbeaten streak in CCAA hockey history of 41 games (38 wins and three ties) which began with a winning streak of 29 games that stood as a CCAA record until 1985. During the run, St. Clair became the first of two hockey teams to win all their regular season and post season games en route to a CCAA National Hockey Championship.
Only a handful of coaches in the NCAA, the CCAA and U Sports have guided a men's post secondary varsity hockey team to a national title with no losses and no ties in the regular season and the post season. Of those, Serviss stands alone in accomplishing the feat during his rookie season as a coach at the post secondary level.
In seven seasons at the helm from 1975-76 through 1981=82, Serviss coached the Saints to six podium finishes at the conference level including three OCAA titles and three podium finishes at the national level including a CCAA title. His teams posted a winning percentage of .775 in the regular season and the post season including a percentage of .714 at nationals. During his tenure, the Saints became the most successful team at the national level.
In the 21st century, Serviss was inducted into the OCAA Hall of Fame in the coach category (2005), was honoured as the St. Clair College Intercollegiate Coach of the Year Award was renamed Jerry Serviss Intercollegiate Coach of the Year Award (2006) and was presented with the Windsor Essex Sports Person’s of the Year Male Legacy Award (2019).
In the national championship season of 1975-76, Serviss was selected as the OCAA Coach of the Year and the CCAA Coach of the Year.In contrast, the 1975-76 CCAA champions who averaged 7.62 goals per game more than the opposition -- which is the highest of the 22 CCAA national champions and the highest of the men's post secondary teams from the NCAA, the CCAA and U Sports to win all their games in the regular season and the post season on the way to a national title -- are not enshrined in a hall of fame.