Meet PUC’s new men’s volleyball coach, Patrick Taaffe. This is Coach Taaffe’s (pronounced TAF) first time coaching at a collegiate level, with a background of coaching high school girls and guys volleyball along with club. When asked what made him decide to take this coaching position at PUC, Coach Taaffe replied, “Honestly, it was a God thing.” While at a basketball tournament for prep as an athletic director, he spoke with Coach Melissa and JR, and they both asked him to take the position.
Coach Taaffe graciously answered questions for us to get to know more about him.
What makes PUC athletics different from other colleges and universities?
For me, it’s the atmosphere of family. Even before I knew much about PUC, I had talked with many people both faculty and visitors, who all said how nice people were here. I have totally found this to be true- as everyone I meet is friendly and smiles.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I am a passionate and motivating coach.
How do you support your student athletes on and off the court?
I do my best to meet the student-athletes where they are. I want to know about their lives and what is happening with their families or relationships and grades. These can all affect what is going on while they are on the court. While they are on the court, I try my best to adjust to their needs. If I know they’re having a really bad day, I try to be more supportive, vs. when they are having a good day, I might try to push them more.
Outside of competing, are there activities you try to get your students involved with?
Team building and communicating with each other. I fully believe that life is more than just sports. So I want them to make lasting friendships and be an example to these gentlemen of what God’s love looks like as best I can.
What values do you instill in your players?
Love, honesty, integrity, and hard work. These values will serve them the rest of their lives in everything from the field of work they choose all the way to their family lives.
How do you incorporate spiritual life within your team?
Personally, I try to be a beacon of love and light for them. I am an open book, and bring Jesus to them and set the best example I can. As we begin to develop and create that family atmosphere, I want to start to have team vespers and join in worship together to make it personal for them.
Why should prospective high school athletes choose PUC over another program?
From what I have seen thus far, you get a great college education from faculty who care. You get the feeling of a large college education mixed with a small-town vibe, and it makes for a very dynamic environment.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
Learning the different backgrounds of each person, where they come from, and where they want to go.
When you’re not coaching, what do you enjoy doing?
Well, I love being with my family. My wife and I have four daughters, so they keep us pretty busy. I like to play video games or listen/read books during my personal “quiet” time. I also love playing music, whether it be writing something with my wife or just playing the drums on Sabbath.