Jarrell High School lost a valuable coach, mentor and friend January 27. Volleyball Coach Victoria Anne Kieffer lost her battle with cancer at the age of 36. A memorial was held at the school February 1.
Vicki was born April 22 1980 at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage Alaska to Peggy and Garrett Kieffer. She graduated James Bowie HS in 1998 and from Texas State University.
In 2005, Vicki was hired to coach volleyball at Jarrell High School. Superintendent Dr. Bill Chapman says, “Naming Vicki the varsity volleyball coach was my very first personnel move as Superintendent. It was a big moment for me, now even more special.”
Vicki was also a teacher and worked as a member of the HEB family since 1997.
Vicki’s parents and sister live in Kyle as well as two beloved nephews.
After her diagnosis, Vicki received a tremendous outpouring of support from the community.
Last September, after Kieffer completed a difficult series of treatments, the Jarrell community came together and raised more then $10,000 to help her with expenses of treatment and not being able to work.
Upon receiving the oversized check from the “Purple Out” fundraiser with the “We’ve Got Your Back” battle cry, Coach Kieffer was very thankful her students stepped up to organize and manage such an effort, despite their anxiety about her health. She was also very touched by the outreach from the entire Jarrell community.
Teacher Marlena Brown said of her friend, “Vicki was the most thoughtful and giving person I have ever met. She had an amazing ability of making people feel important and valued. I can’t tell you how many times she told me she was going to spend a weekend watching a student in one of her classes play little league. I don’t think she missed more than handful of practices during radiation and chemotherapy. Even in her last month, she emailed me and the coaching staff. She worried she was letting us down. She was fighting for her life and apologized for missing athletics.”
Fellow coach Liz Boyd delivered a eulogy to the students. The last conversation they shared, Coach Kieffer was very ill but advised Boyd to tell a struggling student to “Step it up!”
“Those words, ‘step it up’ will motivate me for the rest of my life,” Boyd said. “Vicki will never know the impact that she has made on me, my son, these students, their parents, the teachers and other coaches in the area. I hope that because of the way she battled with class, you will be motivated to ‘step it up’, wherever you are in life. Whether it is in the classroom at your job, on the court or the field and with your family. Will you help honor Coach Kieffer and Step It Up?”
Dr. Chapman says the students are doing well under the circumstances. “People don’t understand youth sometimes. These students are very resilient and we are blessed to have such great kids. We do everything we can for them but they are great for each other.”
Coach Boyd echoed his sentiments, “I’m grateful for these friendships and have been so proud of my community and co-workers and students over the past couple of weeks as we have dealt with this loss.”
Additional condolences may be posted at HarrellFuneralHomes.com