By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Longtime Capital University head volleyball coach, mentor, women's advocate and instructor Pamela Briggs passed away on Saturday, February 24, 2018 following a courageous battle with cancer. She was 52.
Visiting hours are set for Wednesday, Feb. 28, 5-7 p.m., at Pfeifer Funeral Home, 7915 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.
Funeral mass will be Thursday, March 1, 10:30 p.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1051 Waggonner Road, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.
A native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Briggs was an influential figure on Capital University's campus in a variety of ways that spanned the volleyball court, golf course, softball diamond, and the classroom for over 25 years. More significant than the mark she left on the athletic field was the impact she made on countless young women's lives.
"The arena of volleyball and Capital University has lost a great champion and competitor. For those of us who had the honor to know and call Pam a colleague, we will always remember her as a fierce advocate for women and speaking her mind. She changed and molded many student-athletes' lives and was always willing to go to any lengths to help others. She was a true believer that showed her faith daily and is now at peace. We all will miss not seeing her next fall at Capital events. Rest in peace, Pam. Your memory will live on."
- Dixie Jeffers, head women's basketball coach
Associate athletic director
Senior Woman Administrator
Briggs, a three-time Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Coach of the Year, has a long resume of success, which served as a solid foundation for women's volleyball at Capital University from the time she first stepped on campus in 1989. After two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Reynoldsburg High School, she started her collegiate coaching career as an assistant for the Purple and White. Three years later she assumed the role of Capital's head coach, beginning a reign of success that spanned 22 years.
Briggs accumulated an overall record of 436-289 (.601) while posting a 108-84 (.563) record against OAC opponents. Over her career, Briggs and the Crusaders won OAC regular season championships in 1996 and 2003, the 2005 OAC Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament twice (2005, 2006). The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recognized Briggs as its Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year following the Crusaders' wildly successful 2005 season that landed the program its first NCAA Tournament appearance.
In 2006, the Crusaders earned an at-large bid to The Big Dance and their first NCAA Tournament win in the first round over Coe College (Iowa) in five sets.
With Briggs as head coach, the Crusaders displayed some of the best individual talent, as well. She coached three AVCA All-Americans, five OAC Player of the Year selections, seven Great Lakes All-Region selections, and two OAC Freshman of the Year honorees.
In the classroom, which Briggs also spent time in as an instructor in various disciplines, her teams earned numerous Academic All-OAC, Academic All-District and Academic All-American honors. Under Briggs' tutelage, three different players combined for four ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and twice were named the All-American of the Year. Eight times Briggs saw a player named to the Academic All-District by the same organization. Over her last four seasons, her student-athletes garnered 17 Academic All-OAC selections and posted an overall team grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
Briggs retired from her post as Capital's head coach in December 2014.
Briggs is also credited for starting the women's golf program at Capital and fielded the first team in 2000. She held that position through the 2010 season and coached student-athletes that collected six all-conference awards and five academic all-conference honors.
She was nominated and selected for induction into the Capital University Athletics Hall of Fame on her first ballot, and Saturday, September 30, 2017, immortalizing her in the annals of Capital University Athletics as a Hall of Famer. To add to the special moment, Briggs was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same class as Capital Volleyball standout and current Alumni Varsity C president Nici Workman '04.
Briggs is a 1987 graduate of Kent State University, where she played for the Golden Flashes. She went on to earn her Master of Science in education degree from the University of Dayton.
Following her retirement, Briggs continued to support the empowerment of women in sport as well as women in faith with her involvement at St. Pius X Church in Reynoldsburg.
She is survived by her husband, Bob Briggs, and countless people she impacted, many of whom remained she humbly called "her children".
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to either the Briggs Endowed Scholarship at Capital or the Walking with Purpose mission of St. Pius X.
Briggs Endowed Scholarship: https://www.capconnect.org/donate
Walking with Purpose: http://spxreynoldsburg.com/programs/walking-with-purpose.html