Kaie Quigley – 1851 Staff
A familiar face has filled the vacant role of head coaching the men’s volleyball program
this year, as Lasell alumni Jeff Vautrin (‘17) is stepping into his first head coaching role for the upcoming 2020 season.
As a member of the Lasers for three seasons, he racked up 1,064 kills, ranking him second all-time in program history. He played a large role in capturing a GNAC championship for the Lasers in 2015. A few short years later, he is back at his alma-mater ready to pick up where he left off.
It all started when he decided to stop playing baseball in high school and pick up volleyball as a spring sport instead.
Kaie Quigley: When did your passion for volleyball start?
Jeff Vautrin: “The [Chicopee Comprehensive High School] volleyball team was winning Western Mass championships and going to the state finals every year. So, I pretty much just chose to play with my brother. I think that’s where I fell in love with volleyball. It was super fun, way more fun than any other sport I’d played in the past.”
KQ: Have you always wanted to be a head coach?
JV: “New England is a very close-knit volleyball community, so people already knew of
me through playing at Lasell, playing in adult leagues… and I got offered an assistant coaching job at Brookline High School. Then I got offered an assistant coaching job at Acton-Boxborough High School, where I coached with them for three years on the girls’ and boys’ side.”
KQ: How do you think your experience with coaching high school, Spike and Serve of Hawaii, and Smash Volleyball of MA prepared you for your role at Lasell?
JV: “When I go recruiting… and tell them that I’ve coached for those types of clubs, you get a little bit more respect, especially as a young coach.”
KQ: How does coaching in those settings compare to coaching at Lasell?
JV: “New England volleyball; the highest level was really good, and I was really happy
to be a part of it… then going to a whole other realm in Hawaii where I was coaching Division I athletes consistently… it was really cool having the opportunity to teach the basic level stuff but also the super high-level stuff.”
KQ: What role do you think your age plays in your coaching?|
JV: “Talking to the kids, they relate to me very well. I can see where their coming from, I
can talk about transitioning. They don’t look at me as an authority figure, they look at me as an older teammate or a leader.”
KQ: You won a GNAC championship as a player in 2015. What are your expectations for
the team this year?
JV: “I think we have a very high ceiling. I think we are only going up from here. I would say conference finals is realistic this year.”