Doyon says good bye to Eagle-Vail; heads to Utah
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Utah-Colorado State women’s volleyball games are going to have a local flavor this fall.
For the Rams, Battle Mountain alumna Crystin Rodrick will be in the green and gold of Colorado State. And on the Utah bench as a newly-minted assistant coach will be her former coach Brian Doyon, who is leaving Battle Mountain after six seasons for the NCAA.
“Crystin and I have already had a conversation about that,” Doyon said. “I look forward to seeing her and coaching against (CSU coach) Tom Hilbert. I’m looking forward to telling all the secrets about Colorado State volleyball. I’m still competitive.”
Doyon accepted his new position with Utah late last week, and it’s a big step for the coach who posted a 97-32 record with the Huskies in six years, guiding the team to its only state title in 2006, three state tournament appearances and a hat trick of 4A Slope championships.
“It’s been a long-term goal of mine,” Doyon said. “I was great to get the call and I’m honored to work in a program like this. I didn’t think I’d start (in college) in one of the best programs in the country. It’s been something in my mind, but I didn’t realize how great of an opportunity it would be.”
Doyon is not understating matters. Utah went 26-6 in 2008 ” including a split with Rodrick’s Rams ” and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Washington. Doyon and Utah coach Beth Launiere have been friends for years, so when the opening came up, Doyon had an opportunity.
“We are excited to have Brian on our staff as he brings a vast amount of experience in many different areas,” Launiere said in a press release on Utah’s Web site. “He has won on every level and we look for him to help us continue to be successful and remain one of the top programs in the nation.”
Doyon leaves Battle Mountain with good wishes of many.
“We’re going to miss Brian,” Huskies athletic director Rich Houghton said. “He did some great things with the kids and our volleyball program. We wish him the best. It’s a good professional move, stepping into a college program.”
“I’ve said to my teams that I’ve learned something from every coach,” said Huskies soccer’s David Cope, who is the most-tenured coach at Battle Mountain. “What I learned from Brian is audacity. It doesn’t matter where we come from. We can compete at the highest level. Those are words though until you do it.”
And Doyon and the Huskies did. Previously a 4A Slope laughingstock ” the Huskies went winless in their first two years in the league ” Battle Mountain started to build around the incredibly-talented Classes of 2007 and 2008. Rodrick, Britney Brown, Nicole Penwill, Sofia Lindroth, Devon Abbott, Sydney Nichols and Kendra Havlik among others, the Huskies sprang onto the scene in 2005, making the school’s first state appearance since 1998.
Battle Mountain went only 1-3 at the Denver Coliseum in 2005, but that was only a prelude. That team was all juniors and sophomores, and the squad returned for 2006 with one purpose in mind ” winning the whole thing.
The Huskies went a stunning 30-1 ” the only loss was to Doherty, which made the 5A state tournament that year. Battle Mountain just didn’t roll its competition ” the team did not lose a single game in the best-of-five matches in its 30 wins.
That year’s trip to the Coliseum turned into a coronation as the No. 4-ranked Huskies beat No. 1 Sterling, No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 3 Mountain View in order on Nov. 11, 2006, to stake an emphatic claim on the school’s only state volleyball title.
The Huskies’ success under Doyon didn’t stop after the state title, though. Battle Mountain went to state for a third time in 2007 with its third-straight 20-plus win season. And while the Huskies finally ceded control of the 4A Slope last fall to Eagle Valley, the Huskies were 15-7, a far cry from when Doyon took over a 7-15 team before the 2003 season.
Doyon believes that the program is in good hands. The Huskies only graduated two players from last year’s team and return a ton of experience.
That among other factors made the decision to leave difficult for Doyon. Not only had he coached at Battle Mountain for six years, but he’s also Lived in Eagle County since 1995.
“What I will remember are the kids, the good times and the bad times,” Doyon said. “You can’t take anything away from the state championship or the three times at state, but the biggest thing I’ll remember is how they are and how they are doing in life.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.