Stacy Rivoira

A Bristol, Connecticut native and 1988 Bristol Eastern High School graduate, Stacy Rivoira was a four-year participant in the volleyball, basketball, and tennis programs. She was a three-year starter and senior captain in all three sports. While at Bristol Eastern, Stacy was a member of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference State Championship teams in basketball her junior year and in volleyball her senior year. Upon graduating, Stacy went on to play volleyball at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. A four-year starter for the Skyhawks she was named captain her senior year, as well as being selected to the Northeast All Conference team.

Stacy would continue her athletic career as a volleyball coach at her alma mater Bristol Eastern, coaching for twenty-three seasons, the last thirteen as a varsity head coach. She was an assistant coach to Gail Ericson a future Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame member

Class of 2009, winning the 2005 CIAC Class L State Championship. In 2006, her first year as the head varsity coach, the Lancers went 25-0 and won the CIAC Class L State Championship. In those thirteen seasons, her teams made it to the CIAC State Tournament quarterfinals or better eleven times, won twelve Central Connecticut Conference South Championships, four Central Connecticut Conference Championships, and two CIAC Class L Championships, in 2006 and 2012. 

During her career at Bristol Eastern, Stacy coached over forty-six All-Conference players, sixteen CIAC All State players, and one Hartford Courant Player of the Year. She complied an overall record of 248-56, posting a 143-5 record in the CCC South matches. She went undefeated in the CCC South her final eight seasons, winning her last ninety matches. Stacy was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame in 2021.

Stacy is currently in her twenty-fourth year of teaching. The past sixteen of those years have been in kindergarten. For her, teaching kindergarten and coaching high school athletes was a balancing act that never got old. Each of them made her appreciate the other in the most unexpected ways. Trading hats each year between being a mother to three of her own children, a teacher to a class of five-year old’s, and a coach to a team of teenagers would prove to be her passion.

Stacy credits her father, Dave Mills, on being a clear role model and influential coaching figure in her life. Her dad, a football coach at Bristol Eastern High School for twenty-six years, consistently demonstrated strong moral character, maintained high expectations, a tireless work ethic, and an undeniable desire to make a difference in every life he touched. He demanded accountability and worked hard to be a knowledgeable and educated coach who passionately displayed his love of coaching whenever he stepped on the field.

Cathy Federowicz

While attending Seymour High School in the late 70s, Cathy played the two standard high school sports for girls at the time, basketball and softball.  Seymour was a small school with a yearly turnover of coaches interested in girls’ athletics.  Most seasons, teams were lucky to win 4 or 5 of the 16 games played, which never sat well with Cathy, as she always hated to lose at anything.

Not long after Cathy received her finance degree from Quinnipiac College, she got married, had three sons, and started a career in business. After twelve years in the business world, she decided to return to Seymour and pursue her passion for teaching.  In addition to teaching, Cathy wanted to coach.  Unfortunately, with both the basketball and softball programs flourishing at Seymour, no coaching positions were available. 

In the summer of 1999, she received a call from a parent, asking her to coach the volleyball team.  Cathy politely declined, as she had no previous experience with volleyball, other than playing in a rec league and backyard picnics.  Then, two weeks before the start of the school year, Cathy received another call letting her know that the volleyball program was going to be dropped if they couldn’t find a coach.  Cathy agreed to take the position.

Over the next two weeks, Cathy grabbed every book and video the local libraries had available, and began her quest to learn the game of volleyball.  She put her faith in the well-known quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.

On the day before the first season began, Seymour’s head football coach, Paul Sponheimer came to see her.  He was pleased she was taking over “The cupcake squad”.  According to Paul, the volleyball girls were more interested in eating cupcakes after the games than actually playing volleyball.  The comment fired up Cathy’s competitive spirit as she vowed to never let that happen under her watch.

Twenty-three seasons later, Cathy is the assistant athletic director at Seymour, teaching 5 math classes a day, coaching, and still trying to learn the game of volleyball.  Her cupcake squad has won over 440 matches, garnering 8 league titles, 6 State final appearances, and 3 State titles along the way.

Cathy was named the Connecticut Volleyball Coach of the year and a National Coach of the year finalist in 2022.  She was named the New Haven Register Coach of the year three times but is most proud of her team’s recognition for receiving the sportsmanship award twice from the Connecticut Volleyball Officials Association.

Cathy credits her parents for her strong work ethic:  Work for everything, nothing is easy.  Her dad fostered her love of athletics by bringing her to numerous sporting events and playing catch, shooting hoops, and playing games in the yard almost every night.

Sue Bavone

A lifelong resident of Oakville, Sue Bavone graduated from Watertown High School where she played volleyball, softball and basketball until a back injury ended her playing career in her junior year.  After graduation, she went on to CCSU, where she earned a BA in Communications.  She began her coaching career at her alma mater in 1985, where she coached for 8 seasons (53-92).  

After leaving WHS in 1992, Sue decided to pursue a degree in Special Education so she went back to CCSU part-time while working at the Wheeler Clinic’s Northwest Village School as an Instructional Assistant for special needs students.  

In 1994, Sue was named the head Girls’ Volleyball Cheshire High School, where she continues to coach today.  Now, in her 27th season, Sue has amassed an impressive 540-98 record at CHS.  Her teams have been among the best in the Southern CT Conference and in the state having won 18 Division Titles, and 14 SCC conference titles.  (Sue’s teams have reached the finals of the SCC tournament an incredible 19 times in 27 seasons).  She has also brought teams to 8 Class LL State Finals, winning 4 State Championships (‘97, ‘98, ‘07, ‘13).  

For her efforts with the girls, she has been named a Coach of the Year by; The New Haven Register (‘98,’07, ’12, ’13, ’14, ‘18) the CT High School Coach of the Year (2003), the Franciscan Life Center Coach of the Year (1999), the Olympia Club Coach of the Year (2001) and The Ct Sports Writers Association (2013), Southern Ct Conference Coach of the Year (2015, 2018), and the Water/Oak Circle of Sports Coach of the Year (2018).

In 1996, Sue earned a BA in Special Education from CCSU and was hired as a Special Education Teacher at Cheshire High.  Sue also earned a Master’s of Learning Degree from Sacred Heart University in 2000.  She is currently a SPED Teacher at Cheshire High.

Sue’s greatest pleasure is seeing the positive impact that her programs have had on her players after they have graduated from high school.  Her coaching staff for both teams has always been composed of former players and the sheer number that come back to help with camps, clinics or just come to visit, overwhelms her with a great sense of pride and satisfaction and makes all the years of hard work so worth it.   Her coaching philosophy is simple…”to instill in my players a love for the game of volleyball, while providing them with a positive atmosphere in which to grow as a player and as a person.”  Sue has done that countless times over.

Sue is a member of:

  • The New England Regional Volleyball Association (NERVA)
  • The Yankee Volleyball Association
  • The CT High School Coaches Association (CHSCA)
  • The CT Junior Olympic Volleyball Association (CJVBA) 
  • The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)
  • The Massachusetts High School Volleyball Coaches Association (MVCA)

Tim Guernsey

In the fall of 2002, Tim Guernsey was approached to coach volleyball, a sport that RHAM added because of Title IX with the addition of football.  In his first season as coach, RHAM would go 0-18.  Every single contest was played on the road do to the gymnasium not having a regulation volleyball court.  In Tim’s first 5 seasons from 2002-2006 RHAM was 57-38.  During the 2006 school year, under the guidance and mentorship of Coventry High School Hall of Fame Coach Matt Hurlock, Tim would make a dramatic change to RHAM’s defensive philosophy:  The introduction of the Rover defense.  That Fall, the 2007 season, RHAM would win the Class M State Title.  Since the 2007 season, RHAM has gone 311-17.  Tim has led RHAM to 13 state semi-final games in a row, advancing to the state finals 10 times, winning State Championships in Class M (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), a stretch that included the longest win streak in school history at 57 matches,  and Class L State Championships (2013, 2016, 2017).  During his tenure, RHAM has had four undefeated seasons (2008, 2009, 2017, 2020), four CT Gatorade Players of the Year (2009, 2013, 2016, 2017) and 15 undefeated seasons in league play.  The CT High School Coaches Association selected Tim in 2015 as the CHSCA Volleyball Coach of the Year.  In 2017, Tim spoke at the Glazier Volleyball Clinics in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  There he presented on three different topics:   Building a Program from the Ground Up; Man-Up (Rover) Defense; Creating a Culture of Mental Toughness.   RHAM finished number 1 in the CT Coaches poll rankings in 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017.  In 2019, he was a finalist for National High School Athletic Coaches Association Volleyball Coach of the Year.    Heading into the 2021 season, Tim’s 20th season coaching volleyball his record at RHAM is 368-55.

Hired at RHAM in the fall of 2001 to teach Physical Education and Health after graduating from Central Connecticut State University, Tim would begin his coaching career in baseball.  Head Baseball Coach Paul Steiner asked Tim to be his assistant coach for baseball in the spring of 2002 since Tim had pitched collegiately at CCSU.  As an assistant coach during the spring of 2002, RHAM won a league championship.  The first league championship since 1993.  Together they would guide RHAM to five league championships (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013) and the school’s first Class L State Championship in baseball in 2004.  As an assistant, he helped coach the CT Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006.  In 2012, Tim was selected as the CHSCA Assistant Coach of the Year.  Tim stepped down after the 2013 season to get involved in his town’s local little league.  Tim had the privilege of winning a Little League District Championship in 2018 with his son.

Tim coached three sports in three different seasons for 6 years at RHAM.  In his 6 years as head coach, the girls’ basketball team qualified for the state tournament 5 times and competed in 2 state semi-final games in 2010 and 2012.  He coached the CT Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012. His basketball coaching record at RHAM was 89-49. He was a member of the senior all-star game coaching staff in 2012.  Tim stepped down to get involved with Franklin Basketball.  He coached Franklin Elementary School, a (K-8) school to two SEMAC Championship game appearances in 3 years winning the SEMAC Championship in 2019.

Curt Burns

Curt Burns graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 1975 where he earned three Varsity letters in track and field. He competed in the pole vault and high jump and also took honors at the NCAA level. After college, Curt became involved in playing competitive volleyball through the USVBA, now USA Volleyball, on Northeast men’s club teams. After attending several AVP tournaments, he also became an avid beach doubles player. Curt founded the New London Beach Volleyball at Ocean Beach Park. He played beach doubles while also directing men’s, women’s, co-ed and Youth Tournament Championship events for 10 years at the beach.

He began his coaching career at the University of Hartford for the men’s club team, competing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. This also included playing NCAA teams. Shortly thereafter, when the Avon High School girls’ varsity position opened up in 1989, Curt became just the second coach in their 47 year history. He succeeded 2011 Hall of Fame inductee and founding member, Barbara Startup.

While at Avon, Curt has earned 406 career wins, 8 conference championships and 5 CIAC State semifinal births. His teams have gained 23 state tournament berths in a row. Curt has mentored 80 all-conference players and 20 All State selections. He was named CHSCA girls’ volleyball outstanding coach in 2009 and chosen as a finalist for NHSCA volleyball Coach of the Year in 2012 in 2016.

He co-founded, directed and coached the first Club volleyball program for boys in Connecticut in 1992. That club won New England and East Coast titles and competed successfully at Junior Nationals as well. Since 2004, Curt has coached the Newington High School boys program, amassing 268 wins, six CIAC championships, 8 state finals and 9 CCC Conference titles. Curt has coach 29 All State players and two CHSCA players of the year. He was also named CHSCA boys volleyball outstanding coach in 2014.

As a certified volleyball referee for over 25 years, Curt has officiated USVBA tournaments and worked in NCAA Division I, II and III matches as a member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials.
Curt is currently retired from full-time engineering employment for 33 years in the town of West Hartford, CT. He has just completed his 31st season as head coach of girls’ volleyball at Avon High School and will enter into his 17th season as head coach of boys’ volleyball at Newington High School in the spring of 2020.

Deb O’Brien

Debbie O’Brien began her volleyball career playing at Wethersfield High School for coach John Landry. She often talked to him about her desire to coach volleyball after college. She attended Stonehill College where she played volleyball and earned a B.A. in Elementary Education. After graduation, John asked if she was still interested in coaching. Debbie served as his assistant for four years and took over the program in 1994. She is currently in her twenty-fifth year at Wethersfield.

Since 2010, Debbie has also been the head coach of the Boy’s Volleyball Program at Wethersfield after serving or three years as assistant.

Her teams have often qualified for post-season play, including the conference and state tournament. Many of her players have earned All-Conference and All State honors. In addition to earning CCC divisional titles, one of the honors Deb is most proud of is the six Connecticut Board o Volleyball Officials Sportsmanship Awards her teams have earned. She is also proud of former players who have returned to coach with her, as well as those who have gone on to become successful coaches.

Debbie is presently teaching sixth grade at Charles Wright Elementary School in Wethersfield.

Duffy Lynch

Title IX – “No one person in the United States shall, on basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”

Duffy credits all her opportunities and successes to the enactment of Title IX in 1972 and Connecticut Volleyball Hall of Fame Inductees, Edna Fraser, Debbie Chin and Betsy Gilmartin, all of whom, without their tireless efforts on behalf of female athletics, evenings such as this would have never been possible.In 1973, Duffy began her career in athletics, playing volleyball, basketball and softball for Edna Fraser at Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut. In 1975, the Lions would win the school’s first athletic State Championship, capturing the CIAC Class M Volleyball title. Captain her senior year; Duffy led the Lions to the state semi-finals, narrowly missing a repeat. The banner, tattered and dusty continues to hang proudly in the Lion’s Den ever reminding future female leaders of when it all began.

The Lion became a Charger in 1977 receiving a scholarship to play volleyball, basketball and softball for Debbie Chin at the University of New Haven. The women’s program built on pride and perseverance would, in later years, become nationally ranked for their athletic excellence. Duffy will proudly state, “Playing for Debbie Chin is my claim to fame”The Charger became a Tiger in 1995, working with Athletic Director Betsy Gilmartin at Mercy HighSchool. Together they created a volleyball tradition of success that continues today.

In Duffy’s first season the Tigers finished 7-11, but in their second season they finished 21-3. The program has never looked back, continuing to compete in the tough Southern Connecticut Conference and the CIAC State Tournament. The Tiger became a Panther this past season as Duffy took over the volleyball program at Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven. A volleyball coaching career that spans 27 years has been highlighted by contributions such as: Deputy Commissioner Special Olympics World Games, one of the original Connecticut Junior Olympics Volleyball club coaches, Senior All-Star Game coach, Senior All-Star Committee member, CIAC Assistant Coach of the Year, and now a Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame member.

A scholarship, “PAT”, was created in memory of Patrick Launder, Duffy’s husband and Mercy’s #1 Fan, to promote Title IX where numerous players have gone on to become successful collegiate athletes, coaches and leaders in their communities. Title IX Lives On!

Cindy Fixer

Cindy Fixer earned her BS degree in Physical Education from Southern Connecticut State College and her MS degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Central Connecticut State University. Cindy coached volleyball at The Gilbert School for 32 years. Her overall record is 310 and 242. Her teams won eight Berkshire League tournament championships as well as thirteen league championships.

In addition, Gilbert played in three State Finals, winning two runner-up titles and one State Championship title. Fourteen of her players went on to play in college. She was named Outstanding Volleyball Coach of the Year for 2000-2001 by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) and was selected to coach in the 1993 & 2014 Senior Volleyball All-Star Game. She represented the school as the girls’ volleyball chairperson for the CHSCA and also served on the Senior All-Star Volleyball Game committee from its inception until 2014. In the educational setting, Cindy represented The Gilbert School by serving as treasurer of the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) for five years and as Finance Committee Chairperson for sixteen years. CTAHPERD recognized her with a Professional Merit Award in 1999.

At Gilbert she teaches Wellness and has also taught Health Science and Math. With her colleagues, she received an Outstanding Program Award for the Wellness department’s “Parenting Awareness Program” from CTAHPERD in 2000.In her community, Cindy is a member of the Colebrook Lions Club and received their Outstanding Member Award for 2003-2004. As a club member, Cindy is the advisor for the Gilbert LEO Club, the student service club sponsored by the LIONS. She received several Service Awards from the Winsted Lions Club for being an outstanding Leo Club Advisor.

Clare Matasavage


Clare Matasavage attended Notre Dame Academy in Waterbury. She graduated from Syracuse University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education. While at Syracuse, she played intercollegiate bas-ketball and volleyball. She captained the basketball team in both her junior and senior year. Clare continued her education at Southern Connecticut State University where she received her Master’s degree in Physical Edu-cation and Health.

Clare taught physical education and health at Holy Cross in Waterbury for 23 years. During her tenure at Holy Cross, she was head volleyball coach for 22 years. During that time, her volleyball teams won numerous league championships. Her groups also received sportsmanship awards presented by the volleyball board of officials.

The Connecticut High School Coaches Association recognized Clare as Volleyball Coach of the Year in 1994. She was also nominated in 1995 for National Volleyball Coach of the Year. Clare has also worked as an inter-scholastic volleyball official. She is one of the founding members of the CT Women’s Scholastic and Collegiate Volleyball Hall of Fame.
While at Holy Cross, Clare also coached softball, basketball, and track and field. Her track teams won numerous league championships and she served as an interscholastic basketball official.

Clare is presently teaching at Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham.

Robert Tarigo


Robert Tarigo was a 1965 graduate of Clarkstown High School in New York. He attended Central Connecticut State University receiving a Bache-lor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and a Masters degree in guidance. He played basketball from 1965 through 1969 and coached bas-ketball in several Connecticut high schools from 1969 to 1998.

Robert started coaching volleyball at Berlin High School in 1982 and has been there for the past 34 years. His overall record is 444 and 212. His teams won thirteen conference championships, had 53 All-Conference Players, and eleven All-State players. For these achievements he has re-ceived many awards and much recognition. In 1993 he was selected to coach the Connecticut Girls Senior All-Stars, and in 1998 he received the Connecticut Gatorade Outstanding Coach Award. Robert was named a Na-tional Coach of the Year finalist in 2004 and in 2011. He was also inducted into the Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.

As a player, Robert also represented Connecticut Men’s Volleyball, and played in the Senior Olympics in New Orleans in 2004. However there is another sport close to Robert’s heart and that is softball. Every summer from 1979 to 2001 he would play in both the American Softball Associa-tion and in the United States Specialty Sports Association. In 1989, he was named to the All-World team for both pitching and playing first base and two years later was inducted into United States Slow Pitch New England Hall of Fame.

Robert credits Bruno Lukas for his start in and love of volleyball, as well as Bill Detrick and Eddie Rosmarin who made a difference in his life. He attributes his success to his dedicated athletes, assistant coaches, and espe-cially the support of his wife Pat, and his two sons Jason and Jeffrey.