Derek Strickland has been involved with the sport of volleyball for 39 years. He started playing volleyball in grade 9 at Greenwood High Milltown Bay d’espoir when he was introduced to the game by Hall of Fame member, Guy Bradbury. He played for two more years at Greenwood High and won a provincial C high school title. Derek played Basketball, Hockey, softball in high school and was selected as the school’s athlete of the year in his graduating year.
He continued his playing career at the College of Trades and Technology in St. John’s from 1979 to 1981 where he won the MVP in 1981. He was a playing/coach from 1982 to 1993 wining two provincial championships and numerous city titles.
Derek began his coaching career in 1982. From 1985-1988 his Technical Sales/Molson’s women’s teams captured Four consecutive Ladies Senior A, City and Provincial Championships. During that span, he also coached the CTT men’s team who captured two provincial Senior B titles. As a player/coach with Molson’s Men’s team, they won city championships and were finalists in the Sr. A championships. He also had a stint with Cabot Institute where his teams won a Senior B men’s championship and had two second place finishes.
In 1994 Derek received his Level three coaching certification and started coaching at the provincial level. His first provincial team experience was the NL Men’s team who competed at the National team Challenge Cup in Sherbrook where the team placed fourth. He was assistant coach at Memorial University in 1994-95 and became the head coach of the MUN Men’s program in 1995 where he coached for three seasons.
In 1994, he was named co-coach of the 1997 Men’s Canada Games indoor team. He then switched gears and was named Head Coach for the Women’s Canada games teams for 2001 and 2005. Three consecutive Canada Games cycles! 12 consecutive years!!
He then continued to coach junior high, high school and club ball winning high school and provincial NLVA Championships.
Derek has been a life long referee for the St. Johns City league and the NLVA. He received his Local badge in 1983, provincial in 1986 and his regional’s in 1990. Derek has officiated in five national championships and countless number of provincial’s championships that have spanned a 38-year officiating career. Many of the matches he shared with his wife Catherine.
For his contribution to volleyball in our province, he was awarded the Reg Soper Memorial Award for dedication and work in volleyball in 2004. He was named Paradise Coach of the year 2005 and was awarded the NLVA community development award in 2007.
Derek got to coach both of his daughters with their school teams. He coached Sarah with the 2005 Canada Games Team and Kerrie with the 2007 16U Provincial Team. Derek said “to get to coach both of his daughters was the icing on his coaching career” winning a 4A Championship with both daughters in 2005.