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VOLLEYBALL: Colligan resigns as BHS volleyball coach

BEMIDJI -- After over 20 years coaching in the Bemidji High School volleyball program, Teresa Colligan recently announced her resignation as the BHS varsity head coach.

Colligan’s daughters, Brylee and Addie, will both be playing college volleyball in the fall. Brylee will be a junior at Wisconsin Superior next season, and Addie will head to Minnesota State Moorhead for her freshman year after graduating from BHS this spring.

“We’ve been kind of talking about it,” coach Colligan said. “I pretty much had to see where my children were at. Both of my girls are going to be playing volleyball next year, so that was the biggest thing. I just felt I’d be spreading myself a little thin, so I had to make a decision. I wanted to be fair to all.”

Colligan’s coaching career started in 1994, when she took the eighth grade head coaching position. After several years, she moved up to ninth grade and, following a year off to shadow Bemidji State coach and 2017 Bemidji State Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee Donna Palivec, Colligan returned as the varsity head coach for BHS in 2002. She held that position through this past season, accruing nearly 300 wins along the way.

Following this past season, in which the Jacks finished 14-14 and lost to Alexandria 3-2 in the Section 8-3A quarterfinals, Colligan took some time to decide what was best for the team and her family.

“It’s hard to give up such a passion that you have,” she said. “...I had to step away from it first because I didn’t want anything on an emotional level. You kind of write down pros and cons, what would be best.”

Ultimately, she decided it was time to step down, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be around Lumberjacks volleyball.

“You never say never,” she said. “There’s other possibilities out there with our JOs – with everything else going on – that maybe wouldn’t interfere as much with me watching my children. I’d never say never. I have a passion for it. It might be at a different level, a lower level or offseason stuff. Who knows. Or it might be volunteering. But right now, I just need to take a step back and just see where it leads.”

Over her tenure as varsity head coach, Netti Homer and Alicia Kriens were her only two official assistant head coaches, but she also had a lot more help along the way.

“I’ve just had amazing coaches with me that have truly helped me through the years,” she said. “It’s been nice to have wonderful assistants who see the same vision, because you can’t do it alone.”

Colligan is currently helping with Bemidji Junior Olympic volleyball, and she said she would continue until a replacement is hired.

“It’s been a good, fun run,” she said. “Like I say, it’s always bittersweet. I’ve truly, truly enjoyed the experience and getting to know the athletes and their families. That’s just been such a blessing. I’ve been very fortunate to work with Troy (Hendricks) and a great administration at the high school. Everybody’s been so supportive, so I just can’t ask for more.”