Longtime Ballenas Whaler volleyball coach John Philip has come to the end of his career after 35 years on the sideline.
Back in 1979, his first year as a coach, Philip guided the Mt. Doug Rams, from Victoria, to a provincial championship. Since then, Philip has seen and coached a lot of teams from Victoria, up to Port Alberni, over to Ucluelet and then finally settling in at Ballenas Secondary School, where he’s been a volleyball coach for the past 26 years. In his 35 years, Philip coached five provincial championship teams, including four at Ballenas.
Philip has coached both boys and girls, at the junior and senior levels. He’s coached with the Parksville Volleyball Club and with Team B.C. and has left his mark on the game. When his daughter, Keri, announced the last day of his coaching career, plenty of well wishes and fond memories came pouring in from former players, many of which went on to compete at the university, college and national levels.
“I’ve had a very rewarding coaching career,” Philip said. “This last year was a good one, this team played well all the way to the end, which was very rewarding and satisfying to see. I’ve coached a lot of athletes in the 35 years I’ve been doing this and to see all those messages, it was very special.”