LANCASTER — Her own pictures for the website and season-long publicity use long since stored in sports information director Monroe Bell’s cameras, the new University of Antelope Valley women’s volleyball coach figured to be done for Media Day last Friday.
Nicole Brouillard zipped around Pioneer Event Center as though trying to retrieve kills.
She supervised the individual shots of her players to ensure they were in perfect fundamental position to depict serves, spikes and sets.
Brouillard was the last line of defense for her players who forgot barrettes or rubber bands to keep their hair out of their faces before practice.
It was a glimpse of how the Lady Pioneers coach will operate in 2019.
“One of the things that attracted me to this job was how hands-on it is,” said Brouillard, a Spokane, Washington, native who comes to UAV from a decade of coaching high school and elite club volleyball in the San Fernando Valley. “Whether it’s recruiting or travel arrangements or academic monitoring, I’m involved in all of it.
“I like that challenge.”
The 2007 Washington State graduate actually grew up a basketball player.
Her athleticism and her height attracted the attention of a high school coach who convinced her to play volleyball.
Two of her recruits this fall have similar athletic backgrounds.
Her decade in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valley showcases a diversity of coaching skills.
Brouillard coached the 2017 Burbank Providence boys to their first league championship, and the deepest advance in program history in the CIF playoffs.
Coach Nicole was moved to hear that some of her players had made the trip to Lancaster to attest to UAV management how much her coaching had helped them mature as young men.
“That’s why I coach,” she said. “I don’t just want to help our ladies be the best volleyball players they can be; I want to help them become the best people they can be.
“I know I had coaches who had that impact on me as a player. I want to be able to do that for our players.”
The Pioneers open the season on Aug. 21 at the La Sierra University Invitational in Riverside. They will take on Walla Walla University at noon, followed by Life Pacific College at 4 p.m.