Jacque Olivas, who played for the Douglas Lady Bulldogs from 2003-2006 was back in Douglas last week, coaching against a team she once played for.
Olivas, whose parents and other family members still reside in Douglas, is the assistant volleyball coach at 5A Cholla High School this season. During the spring she’s the assistant softball coach at Santa Rita.
Her junior varsity team lost to Douglas in straight sets last week while the Cholla varsity also lost in straight sets, 3-0. Olivas’ family was in the stands trying to support the Lady Bulldogs while also cheering for Jacque’s team to play well.
Olivas played volleyball, basketball and softball during her career at DHS. She said she really enjoyed playing for the many different coaches over the years.
“I loved playing here,” she said. “When I began coaching it brought back all the memories I had of playing here. Stepping foot in this gym again, it’s like nothing has changed.”
She says it’s been fun reconnecting with some of her former coaches once again, now in a different capacity, now as a coach.
“All the coaches here inspired me,” she said when asked about what made her decide to get into coaching. “I got excited when I heard from my nana (Anita Rose) Cholla was coming to Douglas this year. Last year at Catalina, we played Douglas, but over there.”
After graduating from DHS, Olivas attended Western New Mexico University where she graduated in December 2015 with a degree in education.
She was living in Las Vegas when she gave birth to a baby boy who turns 2 this week. She returned to Tucson with her fiancée, who is an educator at Desert View, and got involved in coaching. Jacque worked as an assistant volleyball coach at Catalina last year, but has not yet accepted a teaching position so that she can raise her son.
She admits coaching against a school she once played for is challenging, but she’s aware she has a job to do for her players and wants to make her hometown proud by putting on a good showing, even if it means giving her team the win and her “old” high school the loss.
“My girls know I played here,” she said. “They want to know if I was popular, if I was any good?”
Even though she does not live in Douglas any more, Jacque still keeps track of what goes on in her hometown.
She admitted she was bothered by the events of two weeks ago where a student brought a gun to school.
“It scared me,” she said. “My sister is a teacher here and my brother is a freshman. Once I heard what was going on, I called them right away to make sure they were okay. What happened is something we normally don’t hear about taking place in Douglas.”
She admits the old adage “Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog,” still applies even if she is wearing the color of a different school she may be coaching for at the time.
“I’m just happy I still get to be a part of volleyball and softball,” she said. “I really enjoyed those two sports when I was here and now to be able to pass on what I learned here to my players is great.”