Garth Pischke reaches 1,200 win milestone

WINNIPEG – Garth Pishke, a former Canadian national team men’s volleyball coach and player, reached the 1,200 win milestone this past weekend as he guided the University of Manitoba Bisons to a straight sets victory over number-one ranked Trinity Western Spartans.

Pischke has coached at various levels for the past 35 years, starting at the U of M in 1977-78. His career CIS record is an amazing 1,200 wins and 323 losses. That’s the most wins ever by a CIS coach in any sport.

‘’There is a great program here and we’ve had excellence players come through the provincial system,’’ said Pischke, 56. ‘’I’ve tried to use my experience at the national team level as both a coach and player to help us stay strong.’’

With two major universities in Winnipeg, there is always a battle between the two schools for the province’s best players. The University of Winnipeg is currently ranked 10th in the country.

‘’It’s a tough job to stay competitive. We are the only western city with two major universities and most of our players are from the Winnipeg area.’’

Pischke has earned nine national CIS titles as a coach and collected 22 medals in 25 national championship appearances. The Bisons are currently ranked number-two in Canada with a 14-2 record.

As a player Pischke competed at the 1976 Olympics and 1984 Games in Los Angeles where Canada finished a best-ever fourth. He coached the national team from 1996-2000 guiding the squad to a world number-10 ranking.

‘’I’m really excited about seeing our men’s team back in the World League,’’ said Pischke. ‘’It’s very important to be involved. We can’t get better unless we play the best.’’

Pischke is also looking forward to Canadian Open May 17-22 in Toronto which will be held at the Direct Energy Centre with more than 10,000 players from 800 teams expected to compete. ‘’It’s going to be quite an event and a huge exposure for our sport.’’

Volleyball is a big part of Pischke family. Garth’s son Dane is fourth-year player on the Bisons while his daughter Taylor will attempt to join the women’s Bisons squad in the fall. 

‘’I certainly plan on being around here for the next four years to watch my daughter play,’’ said Pischke when asked if he’ll pursue win number 1,300.