Samm Diep-Vidal Honored as the 2024 Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year

Samm Diep-Vidal

Each year, the Professional Billiard Instructors Association recognizes a PBIA instructor who has significantly advanced the organization’s objectives. This year, the distinguished Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year Award has been bestowed upon PBIA Master Instructor Samm Diep-Vidal.

A four-time national billiard champion in both 8-ball and 9-ball, Diep-Vidal serves as a master-level instructor with the PBIA and ACS. She’s also a senior instructor with Billiard University.

“I’ve dedicated nearly half my life to sharing my love and knowledge of pocket billiards with others through writing and teaching,” Diep-Vidal said. “I’m fortunate to teach my passion as my full-time profession. Between private and group instruction, it occupies 5-20 hours per week.”

David “Dr. Dave” Alciatore, Dean of Billiard University and himself a PBIA Advanced Instructor who won the Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year Award in 2021, nominated Diep-Vidal for the prestigious honor.

“Samm is a passionate, enthusiastic, active, and effective instructor, and she has had a positive impact on countless students and other instructors,” Alciatore said. “It has been a pleasure working closely with her over the years. Her work supporting junior programs and players is especially commendable. Samm is the exact sort of person this award was created to honor.”

Dr. Dave works alongside Diep-Vidal and Randy Russell as part of the preeminent Billiard University Summer School Boot Camp team, so he’s seen her work first-hand.

Over the last 20 years, many of her students have seen big success in local leagues and tournaments, as well as state championships.

“The local billiard community has always been an amazing support for all my endeavors,” she said, noting most of her new students come from referrals. “I also teach weekly senior and youth classes through the Denver Parks & Recreation program to reach an audience that otherwise would not have access to formal instruction.”

Additionally, she offers one-day small-group camps with tailored curriculums geared towards ladies, beginners, and intermediate players, sharing the Billiard University materials.

“I have shared the template for these courses with many fellow instructors across the country looking to create similar programs in their areas,” Diep-Vidal said.

Diep-Vidal has guided North American junior players to Germany, China, and Austria to compete in the esteemed World Junior Championships.

After a brief hiatus from the junior billiard world to focus on her family, Diep-Vidal jumped back in head first by attending the 2023 BEF Junior Nationals as a supporting Board Member and later the 2023 WPA World Junior Championships as the North American Team Leader.

In 2023, the U.S. Team secured two silver medals and one bronze medal.

“These great honors have connected me with some incredibly talented young billiard athletes, one of whom is Sofia Mast from Florida,” she said. “She received a silver medal at the 2023 world event and continues to improve as a complete athlete through the rigorous training program we’ve put together for her. Though she attributes much of her recent success to our time together, none of it would be possible without her dedication and hard work. I’m hopeful that together, we can create an effective model that can be used for other players seeking more routine and discipline.”

Additionally, as the Executive Director of the Billiard Education Foundation, she organized the Junior National 9-Ball Championships for five consecutive years. In her final year, the event saw record attendance with over 200 student billiard athletes from 35 states participating.

Once a year, she organizes an annual Kidz Klinik, marketed to new young faces in the community who have never been around the sport before; whenever possible, she stops by the weekly junior league to help them prepare for upcoming events, also aiding in their fundraising efforts with monetary and product donations, and she produces the annual Colorado Junior State Championship event each year to qualify local young players for the BEF Junior National Championships.

Diep-Vidal is also well known for her YouTube instructional videos, which have surpassed more than half a million views.

“I’ve reached a new audience online through consistent instructional, motivational, product, and call-to-action social media posts,” she said. “I introduced a short video series called, ‘Abolish the Chicken Wing,’ where I incorporate various techniques, including stretches, to help players overcome the number one mechanical ailment I see with my students. It’s been so much fun meeting and engaging with new billiard enthusiasts online.”

Diep-Vidal was humbled by the honor and feels she is in great company among the list of finalists.

About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through BCA leadership. The BCA seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows, tournaments and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody’s game. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.

About The PBIA
The PBIA (formerly the BCA Instructor Program, established in 1992) is the largest international organization of professional billiard instructors. Since its founding, the PBIA has improved it leadership position by growing cue sports through professional instruction, development of training products, contributing instructional articles to industry publications, participating in educational workshops and seminars, acting as certified referees or league officials, and directing some of the most notable billiard tournaments throughout the country. The PBIA’s mission is to provide quality billiard instruction to the public, as well as offer training and certification programs for individuals wishing to become qualified billiard instructors. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.

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