Former Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) student-athlete Catherine Bouchard has joined the coaching staff of the Men’s Volleyball program at Cégep Limoilou as an apprentice in the CCAA’s FACP.
Bouchard realizes that working with an elite coach and program is a golden opportunity. She is being mentored by longtime head coach Rock Picard with the Titans, who are an incredible 11-time CCAA champions.
“As a woman, it is a rewarding challenge for Catherine to coach a men’s team and to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps,” said Julie Laroche, Athletic Director at Cégep Limoilou. “Her presence is having a positive impact on the group.”
Picard has put forward a strong record of success on the provincial and national levels for many years. He is a two-time CCAA Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year and two-time CCAA Coaching Excellence Award recipient (2006, 2018).
He has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including more than 20 years with the Titans. Picard is also involved in the Fédération de Volleyball du Québec as a coach and member of the Excellence Committee. In addition, he supervises the Club ESSOR student-athlete program of more than fifty male and female athletes in secondary school.
Picard and Limoilou are scheduled to host the 2022 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship next March.
For her part, Bouchard has been building her own coaching resume. She has held several assistant and head coach positions at the cadet Division 1 level and has also worked with teams at the Quebec Games. In addition, Bouchard, who graduated in 2009 from the Natural Science program at Cégep Limoilou, has worked with the men’s Junior AAA and women’s Division 2 teams at the RSEQ institution.
Bouchard graduated with a degree in actuarial science from Université Laval in 2014 and she completed a second degree at Laval in forest engineering in 2017. Her studies led Bouchard to obtain a position as general manager at Gestion Forap, a forest management company, in 2019.
Many qualities she utilizes in her career are equally useful as a volleyball coach, and Bouchard is excited to continue combining her work as a forestry engineer with her passion of coaching.
“I bring to the Titans my commitment, analytical vision of the game and drive to help develop athletes and the team as a whole,” said Bouchard.
With all 2020-21 CCAA Championships cancelled, this season is obviously like none other in CCAA history. This year however, coach education and training – which is key to the CCAA’s FACP – is being further supplemented via the FACP Leadership Development Program. This Leadership Program is developed by former CCAA student-athlete and current CCAA Head Coach and Doctoral student Danielle Cyr, who has been facilitating the mentorship process.
During the first semester, Bouchard participated in all practices four times per week. She prepared drills and also executed drills put forward by Picard. In addition, she has been very active with recruitment and has attended every video conference meeting.
Bouchard has also helped improve academic achievement within the team, using her skills and knowledge to help student-athletes struggling with mathematics during study periods.