Douglas College is proud to introduce Michelle Peters as the new head coach of the Royals softball program. Peters, a former All-Star and college coach in the U.S., takes over the flourishing team from Gord Collings, who is moving on as the head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds.
“Michelle brings strong leadership, and coaching and training expertise, both at the community level and the post-secondary level,” says Debbie Schachter, Acting Director of the Centre for Campus Life and Athletics at Douglas. “Her energy and enthusiasm for the sport, combined with her commitment to maintain and develop a successful program, means another exciting year for softball at Douglas.”
Peters, who has National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Level 3 certification, is Assistant Coach with Team BC, which she helped lead to gold at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games. She is also Technical Director at the Surrey Storm Fastpitch Softball Association, where she has coached. In 2010, she was an assistant coach with the championship Simon Fraser University Clan. She runs the Elite Softball Training Centre in Abbotsford.
While captain of the Long Island University Post Pioneers, Peters earned a Bachelor’s of Science in elementary education. After graduating she joined the coaching staff for two years, seeing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Div.2 softball team to a conference championship as Associate Head Coach. While she was on board, the Pioneers program was recognized with a NFCA Northeast Regional Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Peters, a B.C. native, will now lead the only Canadian softball team in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC). “Having played and coached at the collegiate level, I recognized what tremendous opportunities such a program would bring to student athletes pursuing softball careers in B.C.,” says Peters. “So to have a chance be a part of the Royals program today is very exciting for me.”
While the torch is passed to such exceptional leadership, Schachter says that Collings will be very much missed. Collings created the Royals softball program and, after only three years in the NWAACC, led the Royals to second place in the championship finals, setting a league record. “Gord is an outstanding coach and mentor who always puts athletes first, and he emphasized the importance of academics for our student athletes,” says Schachter.
Collings describes his departure from Douglas as bittersweet. “When you build a program up and it’s becoming successful and recognized as a good program, it’s hard to leave,” he says.
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