Dagenais is a very experienced coach, starting at the age of 18. “My brother's Bantam B team fired their coach mid-season, and I came in as an Assistant Coach. We barely made the playoffs that year securing the last spot in our last regular season game, but we ended losing in the finals at the end. That's when I knew that coaching was something that I could be good at.” Dagenais explains.
Dagenais said, “I think it's great to see the players improve, and move on to higher levels. At the same time, you want to make sure that they become good people too. That's even more important.” when asked about his favourite part of coaching.
Dagenais says he has many rewarding moments as a coach but his most rewarding moment took place when he was coaching male basketball at Louis-Riel Public High School. “We were one of the best teams in Ottawa at that time, and we had decided to attend a top notch tournament in Toronto. All the top teams in the country were there, so our boys were excited. Unfortunately, we went 0-3 and our boys were devastated. What they didn't know is that I had bought them tickets for a Toronto Raptors' game on our last night in the city of Toronto. When I showed them the tickets on the bus less than two hours before tip-off, they went ballistic. They even thought the tickets were fake. It was great to see the joy in their eyes. Not one of them had watched a live NBA game in their life, so they were thrilled. Just being able to make these kids happy for a few hours was by far the best moment in my coaching career.”
Dagenais says his biggest challenge as a coach was when he took over in Ottawa three years ago, “we started the season 0-5. We had lost all of our games by a one goal margin. A lot of people in the league thought that we didn't have enough offense to compete with the league's top teams. What the other teams didn't know was that we, as coaches, were happy about the way we were playing. We knew we would turn it around. We ended up finishing with a record of 44-13-5 I think, good for second overall. A lot of coaches are all about winning games. I don't see it that way. If you play the right way, and you keep progressing, good things will happen. There's a process that needs to be followed, and if you do follow it, and you know you gave it your all, you're a winner right there. I'd rather lose watching my players play the right way, then win watching them cheat all over the ice.”