When there was urgency for the maturation of women’s athletics, 2006 Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Vivien F. Novicki, pledged her life as an athlete, teacher, and volunteer, paving the way for future female athletes to succeed.
Raised in Branford, Vivien was a two-sport athlete and 1960 graduate of Branford High School. As a member of the Hornets girl’s basketball team, she was coached by fellow hall of famer, Virginia Moessmang (1990). In her junior year, Branford won four of its five games, defeating Lauralton Hall (29-17), North Haven (27-24), Amity (32-20), and North Haven (34-23), making them a formidable squad in 1959. As a senior, Vivian was a guiding force in Branford’s 7-1 record, with wins over Amity twice (33-20), (39-27), Stonington (44-29), Valley Regional (46-39), North Haven (28-24), and Derby twice (27-13) and (27-10). She was also a two-year member of the field hockey team and a co-captain her senior year.
Following graduation, Vivien attended Southern Connecticut State University, where she competed in field hockey. In 1965, she began a 34-year career as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator at Waterford High School. She taught physical education and education and developed the first girls’ athletic program at the school. Vivien served as Director of Athletics for eleven years and as Assistant Director of Athletics for Girls from 1974 to 1996. In her final three years at Waterford, she served as Director of Athletics. Her contribution to athletics in Eastern Connecticut is legendary. She coached, organized and served as a volunteer coach for more than 17 athletic programs. Her leadership was a major factor for six different committees at Waterford, including her service as the Title IX Coordinator where she worked for 29 years. Her work in athletics has been recognized numerous times. She received a 1978 nomination for the NHSCA for Girls’ Sports, a NEASC commendation for her physical education program for students with special needs, and a commendation from the Connecticut State Department of Education for her work in developing a program for special needs students. Vivien had been on the Advisory Board for 25 years, Chairperson for gymnastics, field hockey, cross-country, soccer, cheerleading, and track. She was a member of the Connecticut High School Association, the Eastern Connecticut Conference, and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. For all her accomplishments, Vivien was inducted into the New Agenda Women’s Hall of Fame located in Newton, Massachusetts in 2004.
She passed away on November 28, 2004.