Hall of Famer
Over a 46-year (and counting) coaching career, Joey Lavigne employed an empowering leadership style which positively impacted hundreds of ski racers across the country, in particular, to those in his home National Capital & Outaouais (NCO) region.
The humble and well-respected coach, who worked at the regional, provincial and national level, developed this effective approach naturally and it resonated with athletes at all levels, from the NCO region and spreading out to many corners of the country in programs where he coached.
“As my professional ski career came to an end, I began working as a coach and spent many days on the hill alongside Joey,” said former World Cup slalom skier Patrick Biggs. “I started to see his coaching expertise and knowledge firsthand. Having just stepped off the World Cup, I could tell immediately this guy knew his stuff. But Joey’s true strength lies in his ability to connect and build trust with his athletes. He is a patient teacher whose message is simple, well understood, and falls in line with a well thought-out, long-term master development strategy he’s concocted for each of his athletes.”
Born and raised in Ottawa, Joey’s passion for skiing grew as he explored the local ski hills at Camp Fortune where he harnessed his love for speed to became a quality ski racer, making quick and successful strides all the way to the national team level (he was a member of the 1975-76 Canadian team).
It was a natural transition for Joey to move into coaching shortly after his athletic ambitions subsided, again moving quickly through the ranks; first as the head coach of the Alberta ski team in 1977, then to the national program when he was hired by Alpine Canada in 1978, where he spent the next few seasons working with some of Canada’s recognizable names such as Ken Read, Dave Murray, Steve Podborski, Todd Brooker and many others.
Joey returned to his roots in Ontario in the 1990s, as the head coach of the Southern Ontario Division and then as coach of the Ontario ski team and managing director for Alpine Ontario. He then rejoined the national program as a coach and program director of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in the mid and late 1990s to 2005.
Joey returned to the National Capital Outaouais region in 2011, where he continues as the program director and head coach of the NCO ski team, where he focuses his efforts on building the performance pathway for youth in his home region.
During the nomination process for his eventual induction to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, athletes poured in testimonials outlining the strengths of Joey’s character and coaching ability.
Many highlighted Joey’s knack and focus on putting the athletes interests first, even during the global pandemic in 2020-21 where he worked to create unique training opportunities for skiers, despite the obvious barriers such as travel bans, distancing, etc. “Joey can open doors for his athletes that are impossible for others to budge,” said one statement.
Internationally and across the country, Joey has deep respect and admiration from his peers. “Everybody knows Joey” is a common phrase you will hear often as his teams are repeatedly welcomed warmly at their training and race venues.
“Joey’s dedication to the sport of skiing and his commitment to fostering excellence among athletes has remained truly remarkable,” said Storey Badger, former Ontario Ski Team skier and later coach. “His coaching style was marked by a unique combination of technical expertise, strategic thinking, and an unwavering belief in the potential of his athletes.”
For Mikaela Tommy, Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumnae, building trust and simplicity stood out for her. “[Joey] had a way of making you feel like you could trust him from day one,” she said. “The way he spoke about skiing just made everything feel so simple … to say that being coached by Joey made skiing feel enjoyable.”
- 1975-76: Canadian Alpine Ski Team – athlete
- 1977: Alpine Ski Team – head coach and program director
- 1978-1982: Canadian Alpine Ski Team – Europa Cup coach
- 1980 & 1984: Winter Olympic Games – coach
- 1983-85: Canadian Alpine Ski Team – World Cup coach
1986-1990: Southern Ontario Division – head coach
- 1991-92: Ontario Ski Team – coach
- 1992-93: Alpine Ontario Alpin – managing director
- 1994-2005: Canadian Alpine Ski Team – program director
- 2006-2010: Ontario ski team – athletic director
- 2011–present: National Capital Outaouais – program director
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