LEWISTON – Clem Jodoin promised the Lewiston Maineiacs organization he could deliver a winner.

In three years, he’s done that. Now, he’s going home to be with his family.

After weeks of dodging questions about his future with the Maineiacs, Jodoin told the team Monday that he is resigning his position as head coach and general manager effective today, according to team sources.

Jodoin spent three full seasons behind the Lewiston bench, going 104-61-23 in three regular seasons, and 22-9 in three trips to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. But the numbers had little to do with his decision to leave.

“It’s a decision he’s made. It’s a personal, family decision, and one that we respect,” Maineiacs President and Governor Matt McKnight said Monday night.

Jodoin’s wife recently finished schooling to become an osteopath, and in an interview with the Sun Journal two months ago, Jodoin said he missed “having someone to go to sleep beside every night.”

The 2006-07 season has been Jodoin’s most successful in the QMJHL in three stints. This season, besides earning a second consecutive gold medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, Jodoin was selected as the league’s coach of the year, and also as the Canadian Hockey League’s coach of the year. He guided the Maineiacs to a 50-14-2-4 regular season record and a sparkling 16-1 mark in the playoffs, resulting in Lewiston’s first President’s Cup trophy.

“He believed in us all year,” Maineiacs captain Marc-Andre Cliche said, “from the beginning.”

Cliche was also a member of Team Canada at the WJCs this year.

Jodoin’s players and fellow members of the organization were in a state of shock, and disappointed to see their leader go.

“I’m not surprised, but when you actually hear it, it was shock yes, but shock no,” Maineiacs assistant coach Jeff Guay said. “It was really 50-50 to be honest. But he’s a great coach. I learned a lot from him, and it’s sad to see someone like that go.”

Jodoin wasn’t free of emotion either. The bench boss, who also spent time in the AHL and NHL, was disappointed to have to leave the organization, but knew his decision was the best option for him, and for his family.

“He was tired of living away from his wife, and he told me, he said, ‘I finally made a “we” decision instead of an “I” decision,'” McKnight said.

As for the Maineiacs, who will draft new players this weekend at the annual league entry draft, team officials say it won’t be as worrisome as some others might think.

“It’s sad to see him go,” Maineiacs President Matt McKnight said. “But even now, the draft is more of a day for the scouts, and with the staff we have in place, we’ll be able to do everything we need to do on that day, even make trades if we need to.”

Assistant General Manager and Coach Ed Harding will oversee things until a new head coach and GM is announced.

“We’re not going to rush it,” McKnight said. “There’s no need to rush things with the people we have in place.”


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