Calgary Titans Volleyball Club: Club History

The Titans Volleyball Club was formed in the fall of 2004. Two fathers, Brian Laing and Greg Irwin, recognized that there was a persistant shortage of volleyball clubs in Calgary, particularly at the female juvenile level. The existing clubs provided excellent programs, but the rapid population growth of Calgary and area was simply too large for them to accommodate the growing number of players

For the past 7 years the Titans have competed in all AVA tournaments and numerous National championships.  After 7 years devoted to the promotion of women's volleyball in the Calgary community, Brian Laing, the club founder and team manager of the Calgary Titans is retiring from club volleyball and the club will cease to exist immediately. Brian has met some wonderful people in club volleyball over the past seven years, and he wishes the best of luck to everyone with their upcoming school and club seasons!

The Titans would like to thank Matt Stayner of the Dinos womens volleyball club, Natalie Schwartz, executive director of the Dinos womens volleyball club and assistant coach of the University of Calgary's womens volleyball team, along with some wonderful parents for all the help they have provided to the Titans. Their expertise and experience during our start up was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Titans Volleyball Club.

Year One 2004/2005

The Titans Volleyball Club was started by Brian Laing and Greg Irwin, and in late fall of 2004 the club was registered with the AVA.  Eleven players and an excellent coach were brought together.  In the first season, the Titans participated in four AVA tournaments, which included Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and the Provincials in Lethbridge.  In addition, we competed in the Pepsi Cup sponsored by the Volleydome and organized a number of exhibition games with local teams.

Titans 2005 Team Pictures

Year Two 2005/2006

The Titans Volleyball Club continued to develop and competed in all AVA tournaments.  The team continued to recruit not only quality players, but supportive families as well, who have provided strong support for this small club.  The season culminated with an exciting Juvenile U-18 Division 2 gold medal win at provincials in Red Deer.

Titans 2006 Team Pictures

Thursday, November 27

Year Three 2006/2007

The Titans acquired the services of assistant coach Blaire Peterson who helped Lisa Burrell coach the team to a successful season.   The Titans had 3 Calgary area Myrna Empey award nominees play for the team this year, including Jackie Kinley, Emily Billingsley and Carissa Struksnes.  The team won the Division 2 consolation final at the Grande Praire Premiere tournament.  The Titans concluded a very successful 2007 season with an excellent placing at the 2007 Nationals held in May at Abbotsford B.C., placing 6th out of the 12 Alberta U18 women's teams attending.  This season marked the first season that the team competed at Nationals. 

Titans 2007 Team Pictures

Year Four 2007/2008

With previous assistant coach Blaire Peterson on maternity leave, Heather Lazette, a Titan alumni, was recruited as the new assistant coach.  The Titans continued to develop both on and off the court, fielding one of the strongest player contingents to date while establishing great friendships both on and off the court.  Once again the Titans had a Myrna Empey award nominee, Danielle Coolman, which highlights the player calibre that Titans have been able to recruit.  The Titans concluded a very successful 2008 season, winning the Provincial Juvenile U-18 Division 2 gold medal.  

Year Five 2008/2009

The Titans started the year with a returning coaching staff of Lisa Burrell and Heather Lazette, as well as three returning players from last year's team.  The team had another fun and exciting season, which was capped off with a trip to Nationals in Ottawa, Ontario from May 1-3, 2009.  The team had a great time at Nationals, and with a small but determined squad they won a silver medal in Div 2, Tier 4 at Nationals.

Titans 2009 Team Pictures

Year Six 2009/2010

The Titans 2009-2010 season was one of the most successful seasons that the program has had.  As the youngest U18 team in Alberta (3 18U, 6 17U age players) Titans are now ranked 12th in the province out of 28 teams!  The team was guided by a returning coaching staff of Lisa Burrell (sixth year as head coach) and Heather Lazette (third year as assistant coach).  In addition, Wes Bader assisted as team statistician and guest coach.    The team participated at Nationals in Abbotsford, BC from May 14-16, 2010 and had a great time. 

Year Seven 2010/2011

The Titans 2010-2011 season was a very exciting and successful season, and marked the 7th season of play for the club. The Titans perservered through a series of injuries, and finished the season ranked 11th in the province out of 39 U18 teams at the provincial championships. The team had a great showing at the Abbotsford U18 Nationals, winning a gold medal in Division 2.

Lisa Burrell retired from coaching prior to the 2010-2011 season after six years as head coach, and Heather Lazette also departed after three years as assistant coach.  Their contributions to the program were immeasurable, and their time and dedication to the program was deeply appreciated by all.

The coaching staff featured Wes Bader as the new head coach for the 2010-2011 season.  Assisting Wes were two enthusiastic former Titans alumni who are currently attending the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University - Danielle Coolman and Taryn Bendle.

Titans Alumni Involvement

The Titans have been fortunate to have a number of alumni parents and players who have continued to support the Titans.  This is a testament to the quality of the program and people supporting the club philosophy, and the Titans would like to recognize their ongoing contributions:

Heather Lazette was a Titans player in their inaugural season, and after a successful ACAC career, returned to help coach the Titans for three seasons.   Following in Heather's footsteps, two enthusiastic former Titans alumni who are currently attending the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University - Danielle Coolman and Taryn Bendle, have joined the program as assistant coaches.

Chris Billingsley, former Titan parent, has been a long time supplier of team jerseys and warmups for the Titans

Dale Struksnes, former Titan parent, has continued to maintain the Titans website and has provided team gym bags through the generous contribution of his company, Fekete Associates.