Mike Gilray brings a long track record of success at a variety of levels to his new role as head coach of the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team.
Gilray, an NCCP-certified coach (Level 2 indoor, Level 3 beach), has coached extensively in B.C. over the past decade-plus, guiding numerous club, provincial and university teams to significant successes. He has a one-year contract to lead the Cascades.
“I am excited to have Mike come on board and lead the team,” said Steve Tuckwood, UFV’s Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation. “He brings great experience and success at several levels and understands the balance with sport and academics. I know that he and (assistant coach) Carl Nienhuis will work well together as we head into the 2015-16 season.”
Gilray, who was born in Oshawa, Ont. and currently resides in Surrey, served two stints as an assistant coach with the Trinity Western University women’s volleyball team (2004-06, 2009-11) under head coach Ryan Hofer. During his tenure, the Spartans won Canada West bronze (2006) and silver (2011) medals, and a CIS bronze medal in 2011.
He was also part of an incredible run of success for the TWU-affiliated Fraser Valley Volleyball Club (FVVC) U18 Blitz girls team. The squad won seven straight B.C. club championships between 2004 and 2010, and earned five national medals during that span, including gold in 2004 and 2007.
Additionally, Gilray has coached Volleyball BC provincial teams to podium finishes at the Canada Summer Games, the Western Canada Summer Games and the BC Summer Games.
Gilray is a teacher by vocation, having completed degrees in Education and Physical Education at the University of Alberta in 2001. He’s worked in the Surrey School District for the past 14 years, and is currently the athletic director at Johnston Heights Secondary.
“I’m just so thankful that UFV is willing to take a chance on me and give me my first opportunity as a head coach at the college level,” Gilray said. “As a teacher and a coach, I’ve been developing myself over the last decade, and I’m excited with where I’m at as a coach.
“I’m very, very competitive, and it’s my goal to get UFV back to that national championship level that they’ve been at previously. But I’m also a big believer in providing my teams with a quality experience, and another goal of mine is that any player who comes through my program loves the game as much – or more – when they leave as when they came in.”