WINNIPEG — It might be some sort of fluke, but four Manitoba Bisons coaches have at least one child currently on the active playing roster. Throw in Bisons athletic director Coleen Dufresne and her volleyball-playing son, Nick Stewner, and the list grows longer.
The Bisons highlighted the unique scenario on Tuesday by touting the five sets of student-athletes and their university-employed parents.
Caleigh Dobie is the daughter of Bisons football head coach Brian Dobie and is a second-year player on the women’s volleyball team. When fellow coach Ken Bentley came knocking on the Dobies’ door as part of a recruiting visit, Caleigh didn’t know what to expect.
“That was an exciting process. They (her parents) wanted to keep it a secret. I knew the coach was coming over for some reason, but I didn’t know why. It was nice to see (my dad) tear up a bit when the offer was finally made.”
Third-year science student Taylor Pischke also finds herself on the women’s volleyball team, with her dad, Garth Pischke, currently on a sabbatical from coaching the men’s squad.
Pischke returns to Manitoba after a stint playing beach volleyball in Santa Barbara, California. The program unfortunately met its demise due to a funding shortfall, sending the 6’1″ outside hitter back home and on the Bisons’ roster.
“I’m really lucky, especially since he’s (Garth) coaching the sport I’m involved in,” Taylor said. “So I can get advice on pretty much anything.”
Dane Pischke — that would be Garth’s son — also played for the Bisons and is now an assistant coach on the men’s volleyball team after recently graduating and completing his five years of playing eligibility.
Bison track and field coach Claude Berube oversees his daughter, sprinter Marie-Andree Berube, while fellow track speed coach Alex Gardiner is the father to middle distance runner Blair Gardiner.