Coaching

Rick Scott a smashing success for Tigers volleyball

Scott has 101 wins in nine seasons

Rick Scott is the second coach in Dal women’s volleyball history to reach 100 wins.   Michael Still

The Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball program has been on a roll over the past five seasons, due in large part to head coach Rick Scott.

Scott has coached the team to four consecutive Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championships. Earlier this month he became just the second coach in the program’s history to eclipse 100 wins and the first since Lois MacGregor did it in the mid 1980s. 

“When you mention that achievement, I think about a lot of the players that I’ve coached and I also think a lot about my assistant coaches,” says Scott. “I’ve had a lot of really great support.”

Coaching history

A Manitoba native, Scott began his coaching career at the junior high level, before moving onto high school, club and provincial levels.

He experienced tremendous success along the way. Among his accomplishments were four Manitoba AAAA High School championships, two National Club Open championships and a U-17 Canada Games silver medal.

Scott had a number of mentors during his time in Manitoba, including Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame members Jim Schreyer and Mike Burchuk. He met them when he began coaching in Selkirk in 2002.

“Those are two of the best coaches in Canada, not just Manitoba. I saw them do their detailed practice plans, season plans and preparation for matches,” says Scott. “I hadn’t experienced that until I went to Selkirk. I always planned for practices, but not to that level, so that was something that was really helpful.”

In 2008-09, Scott came to Halifax to coach the Tigers. 

The team had missed the playoffs during the two previous seasons, and he felt there was a real need for athlete development during high school. He wanted to stress the technical skills needed to play at the university level.

Provincial clubs

In 2009 he founded the Tigers Volleyball Club, which is comprised of a U-16 and U-18 team. Over the past seven years, the club has captured 11 provincial championships and has also produced a number of successful U Sports players, such as current Tigers members Abby Czenze, Anna Dunn-Suen and Victoria Haworth.

Scott’s involvement at the provincial level means he knows many of the athletes who end up on his roster at Dalhousie. Czenze is one of the best examples. She’s been a member of all four AUS-winning teams that Scott has coached thus far, and was first coached by him in Grade 10 while she was with the volleyball club.

“We have a very tough relationship in the sense that he pushes me and it’s a good environment,” says Czenze, who is a fifth-year player. 

“He has always strived to make me better as a player and I respond well to that as well, so he’s always encouraging and always knows you have the next level and tries to get you to that next level.”

No. 7 in Canada

The Tigers women’s volleyball program has been around for over 40 years. Scott is the seventh coach in the team’s history, and to date, Dalhousie has earned 21 AUS championships. The Tigers are currently ranked seventh in Canada and have returned to a level similar to when they won five championships in the 1990s.

A two-time AUS coach of the year, Scott claimed victory No. 100 on Feb. 5 in a 3-0 victory over the Saint Mary’s Huskies.

However, he is quick to credit the people around him for his success.

“We’re all one big family and one big coaching staff, so sometimes I look good, but there’s been a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people,” he says.

 

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