St. Clair’s Taylor Fitzgerald Part of CCAA Female Coach Apprenticeship Program
After spending the last three seasons as captain of the Saints Women’s Volleyball program, Taylor Fitzgerald is set to transition into coaching as an apprentice with her former team.
She will be mentored by Jimmy El-Turk, her former coach at St. Clair.
“Using my experiences as a player and captain, I hope to develop a unique coaching style that is based on mutual trust between the players and fellow coaching staff,” said Fitzgerald. “I can relate closely to how players receive information and apply skills in the sport of volleyball.”
El-Turk, who was an assistant coach with the Team Canada Junior Women’s Program last summer, has seen tremendous growth in Fitzgerald’s leadership qualities. He believes this will translate directly into coaching.
“She has been the athlete who leads our game plan conversations, being already exposed to advanced tactics and has a great understanding and care for those around her,” he said. “She has already been a coach without knowing it and I am hoping that I can be a part of the path that sets her into a more permanent coaching role.”
St. Clair College has a strong mandate to focus on succession planning and Christina Gatto, Director of Athletics at the institution, sees a future for Fitzgerald in coaching with the Saints.
Now, in a completely new role, Fitzgerald is confident she can continue to make a positive contribution at St. Clair because of her hard-working attitude and willingness to learn.
“By using my past experience in the sport, I hope to engrain a positive culture that can be associated with the volleyball program by teaching the value of respect, honesty, integrity and hard work.”Taylor Fitzgerald
“The long-term plan is for Taylor to continue as part of our coaching staff after this season,” she said. “St. Clair’s goal is to increase the number of qualified female coaches on staff and we believe this will be a huge step in the right direction.”
Prior to her three seasons with the Saints in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), Fitzgerald suited up for the University of Windsor Lancers (U SPORTS).