Briercrest College's official motto isn't "Once a Clipper, always a Clipper", but it might as well be.
For the 2014-2015 ACAC season, all of the team's athletics teams will be coached by Briercrest alumni.
Athletic Director Nigel Mullan is excited to have himself, Nolan Weinmaster, Rod Adrian, Will Con, Carlie Pagens and Jamie Ramer coach their respective teams to successful seasons.
"I think there is something special about coaching at the school you went to," said Mullan. "There is a sense of pride and desire to see the program and athlete succeed at a different level that comes with being at your school. So if I can have that extra motivation in the coaches we have shaping our athletes we are lucky to have it."
Mullan himself was a Briercrest student from 1999 until 2004 and played hockey for the college. When the opportunity arose to be back working with the school, he didn't hesitate.
"I was a multi sport guy growing up and had played both basketball and volleyball growing up," explained Mullan. "I was interested in helping Briercrest out and also desired to coach and have an impact on youth. I saw this as a great opportunity."
Mullan knows the impact that alumni have on their program, which is a big reason that he brings so many alumni on as coaches.
"What we have been working on is trying to help our alumni realize that they never leave the program but transition to a different kind of role," said Mullan. "We are stronger because of how involved our alumni are with our program."
The best draw for alumni to come back to Caronport to visit is the annual Alumni Weekends for each sport. These weekends take place during the home openers of the respective teams, something that Mullan does intentionally to have the alumni be honoured in front of a large crowd, and for them to see the current teams in action.
"This weekend has morphed over the years and we are getting clearer what we are trying to accomplish with them. We want our alumni to see their impact and feel the appreciation that comes with the new position."
The most recent product of this transition is assisting Mullan in coaching the Mens Volleyball team for this season. Cody Quiring played volleyball for Mullan as a left side for the Clippers from 2009-2014 and is excited to get the chance to coach for his alma mater.
"Nigel and I had been talking a little bit while I was still doing my degree as to what it might look like for me to jump on staff," explained Quiring. "Coaching has always been something on my radar. I've coached provincial and club volleyball for a long time and now coaching with Nigel will be a pretty big step up, but it's something that I've always wanted to do, so I'm really looking forward to taking that next step."
Quiring, along with the other six head coaches and numerous assistant coaches are looking to carry on the Briercrest tradition of hard work and integrity on and off the court or field, or ice.
Who would know better how to do that, than Briercrest alumni?