Richelle Vigeant brings CIS experience to coach JV womens volleyball program

Posted: July 10, 2016

Briercrest Athletics and the Briercrest women’s volleyball team are excited to welcome Richelle Vigeant to the Caronport this August. Vigeant will be the head coach of the women’s volleyball junior varsity team as well as serving as varsity head coach Nolan Weinmaster’s assistant coach.

Weinmaster is very excited to add Vigeant to his coaching staff this fall.

“Richelle is a fantastic person and will be a great personality for our female athletes to connect with!” Weinmaster explained. “She is someone who cares deeply about the players she is mentoring and desires to see them grow in all areas of their life. A very important part of what we do here with Briercrest Athletics is strive to provide an environment where we are all challenged to grow as “life champions”, which includes a commitment to helping each other to develop and grow in our relationship with Jesus, wherever we are at. Richelle is passionate about her faith and about helping others grow to their fullest potential, which makes her a great fit for our program. She also brings great volleyball experience from her time with both VIU and TRU, and I am so excited about how she will help us continue to develop champions on the court and in life!”

Vigeant will be moving from the west coast to coach at Briercrest.

“I am originally from Langley, BC (born in Kamloops, BC),” she explained. “My husband Cody and I have been married for three years (in October) and we have lived in Langley since then. I worked as a secretary for the Surrey School District for a few years, and over the past year I have been back in school doing my PDP to become a teacher. I am finishing up my summer courses to complete my Bachelor of Education degree!”

Though never attending Briercrest herself, Vigeant has some strong friend connections in Briercrest Athletics.

“Natalie Mullan and I met playing club volleyball when we were 14 or 15, and became best friends when we played on Team BC that summer,” Vigeant explained. “The years playing volleyball with Natalie on Fraser Valley Volleyball Club were important and memorable years, as it helped us develop as players and people, and showed us that using the talents God has given us to the best of our ability is a way to serve and honour the Lord. In our weddings, Natalie and I were each other's maids of honour, and she moved to Caronport after marrying Nigel (Briercrest Athletic Director).”

Vigeant’s playing resume is very impressive. While competing for D.W. Poppy Secondary in High School she played club for the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, and one year at Columbia Volleyball Club. She also played for Team BC for three years. After high school she played two seasons for Vancouver Island University (VIU) in PACWest of the CCAA before making the jump to CIS and playing three years for Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Canada West.

She has stayed connected with volleyball in the lower mainland BC in both the high school and club ranks, where she has been coaching at the Synergy Volleyball Club and Frank Hurt Secondary. She also has worked at several volleyball camps over the years including at White Rock Christian Academy and through both VIU and TRU.

Vigeant spoke to her coaching philosophy.

“I have been blessed to have experiences through sports that I would have otherwise never had, experiences that have shaped my life and who I am as a person in every way,” she explained. “My ultimate goal in coaching the JV women's volleyball team is to develop this group of young women as people in the same way. I share Nolan's vision of developing "champions for life" and I believe that the skills, lessons and experiences on the volleyball court extend to every aspect of life, developing future leaders of character. I want to provide my players with every opportunity to develop and thrive as athletes, students and people, and to work together with parents, players and administrators to give them the optimum opportunity to thrive. I want to use my talents and experiences in sport and life to serve Briercrest as a whole, as well as to young women who are passionate about the sport I am passionate about and are beginning a new journey in their lives.”

“My team will be a place where each player is accepted and appreciated for their unique talents, personalities and strengths,” Vigeant continued. “I expect my players to challenge and support each other both on the court and off the court. I want this team to not only be a family away from family, but also a community that challenges each other to develop and thrive physically, mentally, spiritually and academically. I don't expect my players to be perfect, but I expect them to act with integrity on and off the court, to hold each other accountable and to play with passion and drive every time they are on the court.”

She is excited to be part of the Caronport community this coming year.

“When I visited Caronport, what stood out to me was the strong sense of community—that was one of the biggest draws for us,” Vigeant explained. “I am excited to be a part of this community and be a part of a staff that is focused on growing in their area of passion as well as their walks with God. I so look forward to working with young women who are starting an exciting new journey and are passionate about playing the sport I love. I am excited to be working with a team who want to use their talents to further the kingdom of God.

Vigeant’s parents made a similar move early in in her life.

“My mom and dad are Lois and Tyler Walton, and I have an older brother named Steve, and we all live in Langley, BC,” she explained. “My family actually made a similar move to Three Hills Bible College (now Prairie College) when I was 1-year-old. They were able to serve at the Bible college, and it feels in a way like we are walking in their footsteps moving to Caronport. Interestingly enough, Prairie is in the league that our JV team will be playing in!”

Vigeant has been working remotely from her home in Langley since being hired in early 2016, and will be moving to Caronport in August.

For more information on Briercrest Athletics follow us on Facebook or at gobriercrest.ca. For more information on the Briercrest junior varsity women’s volleyball team contact Richelle Vigeant at rvigeant@briercrest.ca, or fill out the recruitment form here.