January 13th, 2017

Hyland's Heroes: Nicki Funke

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Hyland's Heroes: Nicki Funke
The Funke family / photo provided by Nicki Funke

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. 

Nicki Funke is the head coach of the St. Bernard fifth/sixth  grade No. 2 girls’ basketball team and the seventh/eighth grade No. 1 girls’ basketball. Nicki is married to Mark and they have two daughters, Hannah, who graduated from St. Bernard in 2015 and is a sophomore at Mercy and Grace who is an eighth grader at St. Bernard and will attend Mercy next year.  

When and how did you get your start with St. Bernard?

I graduated from St. Bernard in 1987 and had a great experience. When it was time to pick a school for our daughters we felt right at home. I reached out to the booster club and let them know I was interested in coaching.I have coached T-ball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball. 

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

I got involved because I knew I could teach the fundamentals. I wanted the kids I coached to have good fundamentals taught to them early on in the sport. I also wanted them to learn about being on a team and the importance of being a good teammate. 

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

I think it’s important for your players to see you practicing your faith, going to mass each week, praying before each game. I was honored to be a Confirmation sponsor this past year for one of my players. 

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

My dad was my main influence; he always coached my teams and taught me some really good life lessons through sports. I still look for him in the stands at our games and value his opinion. 

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

I stress the importance of doing your best at all times and in all things, working hard, and being a good teammate

What does your role at St. Bernard bring your family?

It brings us closer with our parish Community.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

My fondest memories are watching a team progress from the beginning of the season until the end. I enjoy seeing everyone putting the work and giving their best effort each practice and game and watching the players gain confidence in themselves on and off the court.  


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