On April 30, 1985, Collegiate’s Assistant Athletic Director and assistant varsity lacrosse coach Andrew Vigne was born in his father’s hometown of Lake Placid, New York, joining his brother Billy, three years his senior. The family lived in the New England area during Vigne’s childhood, but they did not stay in Lake Placid his entire life. Chip Vigne, his father, coached hockey and baseball at prep schools and, as a result, the Vignes moved around from school to school while Andrew’s mother, Annie, worked as an elementary school teacher. Vigne says that before he reached fourth grade, his family had moved eight times around the New England area. They moved north to Maine to Berwick Academy in South Berwick, then traveled back south to Massachusetts to the Fenn School in Concord, but finally settled at Middlesex School, also in Concord.
Vigne discovered his interest in athletics at a young age, taking after his father, a hockey player at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Vigne’s father continued to influence his boys as a baseball and hockey coach for not only Vigne and Billy, but at his various prep schools as well. Vigne says he and his brother gravitated towards sports since their dad was a full-time coach. He explained how inspired he was by his dad because his father, “on top of his full-time job, would still work numerous hockey camps in the summer at the beach,” which became a popular vacation spot for the Vignes. He credits his brother, however, for instilling his competitive edge.
When I asked about his relationship with his brother Billy, Vigne spoke fondly as he reminisced how he would “butt heads” with his brother after many sport competitions. He described Billy as a typically tough older brother. Vigne also says that if it weren’t for his older brother, he probably would have never been a goalie. He explained that when he was younger, “Billy would always put him in the goal so that he could take shots.” According to Vigne, being three years younger than his brother forced him to always “try to compete and roll with the big boys.” He says that this made him a better athlete as he made his way to high school athletics and soon continued on to a strong college career.
Vigne said that, just as many sports-inclined kids in New England, he grew up playing any and all sports. He loved baseball and hockey and picked up lacrosse in fourth grade. At the start of high school, his focus was hockey, and he became passionate about lacrosse later in high school. I asked Vigne to recount some of his favorite moments on the lacrosse field, and one of his favorite memories from senior year at Middlesex resurfaced.
A riding attackman was running full speed to maul goalie Andrew Vigne and take the ball away. Vigne calmly passed the ball to one of his teammates just as the attackman arrived. Mid-story he asked me, “Villy, do you know what a hip check is?” After I shook my head in confusion, he explained how it is a common hockey maneuver where one thrusts one’s hip out to knock over an opposing player. Laughing, he continued with the story and said that “just as the attackman was about to create contact, I threw my hip at the player, causing him to flip over my back.” With many exciting plays such as this one, Vigne had a successful high school career, being named All-New England as the top goalie in his league.
He continued his lacrosse career at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Upon arriving on campus, he grew fond of the warmer weather and was ready to play. He explained that being on a team was instrumental in his transition to college. Vigne continued to see success and currently holds records at the school. They include first in minutes played, second in goals against, third in total saves, and second on most saves in a game, which consisted of two 26 save games he put together in his career.
After graduating with a business degree and a minor in money and finance, Vigne returned to the New England area and envisioned himself working in the “business world.” Right out of college, he got a cubicle job but sadly got laid off in 2009 with five other friends at the start of the recession. In retrospect, Vigne says he felt content with this change in his life, as it led him to coaching.
Shortly after being laid off, Vigne ran into his old high school coach and began the talk of coaching. He soon found himself volunteering at Merrimack College while coaching high school lacrosse in that same year. In 2010, he landed a full-time job at Merrimack and coached there for two years. He then received a job as the women’s lacrosse coach at Wellesley College in 2012. Vigne then explained that he “caught a break from 2013-2015” at the Williams School, where he was the “men’s recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator and assistant for the women’s team.” He found the world of college lacrosse to be quite pressing. He noted that “college athletics tough and very unstable. You have to create consistent output.”
This led Vigne to Collegiate. He was searching on LaxPower, looking for a head coaching position at the college and high school levels. He then came across an opening at the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. By the first week of August 2015, Vigne flew down to meet with Associate Athletic Director and varsity lacrosse coach Andrew Stanley, Associate Athletic Director and head strength and conditioning coach William O’Brien, and Athletic Director Karen Doxey. Immediately after, Vigne says he “found an apartment, got into Richmond on a Thursday, and met at the coaches meeting with Associate Director of Summer Quest and Upper School health and wellness teacher Jake McDonald.
However, Vigne says he didn’t feel at home until he met with then-seniors Jack Rusbuldt (‘16), Penn Mayhew (‘16), Jackson Berling (‘16), Mait Innes, (‘16) Jed Londrey (‘16), and Ben Rising (‘16). Vigne remembered how they were in the Middle School library and started playing around with different lacrosse plays and felt so welcomed. He said it “reminded me of home and the Middlesex kids he grew up with.” Vigne continued to articulate that “one of the highest selling points [of a coaching job] are the quality of the kids.”
According to Vigne, “it has been a great year and a half as a Cougar.” The rest of the Collegiate community loves to have him. I had a chance to speak with former goalie Jack Rusbuldt (‘16). Rusbuldt spoke about Vigne’s first year coaching and said “he cares more about his players and is more passionate about the game of lacrosse than practically anyone.” Current starting varsity goalie had similar remarks. Ned Schutt (‘18) highlighted how Vigne is extremely knowledgable in the lacrosse goaltending area and “has helped me tremendously in just his second season at Collegiate.” So next time you attend a boy’s varsity lacrosse game, look on the sideline for Vigne motivating and inspiring.
Photos courtesy of Grant Villanueva.