Shay Douglas said that when she was named on Friday as the lone finalist for the head volleyball coaching position at Stephenville High School, it was a dream come true.
Local fans and players probably have the same feeling about the SHS Athletic Hall of Fame member.
Douglas starred in volleyball for the Honeybees and was a starting middle blocker (then Shay Gracy) as a junior on the 2003 state championship team under current SHS coach Fran Metzger.
In her long, distinguished career, Metzger posted 646 wins as a volleyball coach, including a 42-6 mark when she guided the Honeybees to their only state volleyball title in 2003. She started the SHS volleyball program in 1995. She also was the coach who began De Leon’s volleyball program, and started Granbury’s volleyball program from scratch as well.
Metzger said she is excited for Douglas.
"I think she will do a good job because she has the passion, and a lot of experience," Metzger said. "She's really hard-working."
Metzger said that as a member of the Honeybees Douglas not only knew how to use her height (6 feet), but also knew how to work well with the other players.
Douglas ended up earning all-state and academic all-state honors for the Honeybees before becoming an all-Lone Star Conference performer for the Tarleton State University women’s volleyball squad.
As per protocol, the selection is expected to be approved by the Stephenville ISD School Board at its next meeting on Feb. 18. Meanwhile, Douglas is continuing in her current position as a teacher and coach at Class 4A Giddings, where she is a girls track and field assistant coach.
“It’s always been a big dream of mine,” Douglas said of returning to coach the SHS girls team. “I’ve always kept my eye on Stephenville. It had a big impact on my life. It’s kind of a dream come true. I’m kind of in awe that I get to come home and do what I love.”
Stephenville Athletics Director Mike Copeland said, “We’re just thrilled to have her. In her interview, she was such a positive person. She’s got a good plan for how to reach the next level. Her references just raved about her.
“She’s vivacious and charismatic. I think the girls are going to love her. I think she will be good for our volleyball program.”
In high school, Douglas earned all-state honors in volleyball from the Texas Girls Coaches Association and the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. She was also named as an all-state basketball player by the TABC in addition to her academic all-state status in volleyball.
Douglas was one of six candidates considered for the position before becoming the lone finalist, but Copeland declined to name the other five.
In eight seasons as a high school volleyball coach, Douglas has had five playoff teams.
She coached at Giddings the last four years, leading the school to the regional quarterfinal round of the playoffs the last three years. With her at the helm in 2016, Giddings won district for the first time since 1988.
She began her coaching career at Class 2A Troy, where she spent four years and left as Girls Athletics Coordinator in addition to being head volleyball and track coach.
“I think she’s going to bring such an up attitude to our volleyball team, and build on what coach Metzger did and see how far we can take this thing,” Copeland said.
At Tarleton, Douglas was voted the TexAnns’ Offensive Player of the Year for both her junior and senior seasons, and was a two-time all-LSC selection. She originally went to Angelo State University to play volleyball in the fall of 2005, but suffered an injury and eventually got medical redshirt status.
Douglas then transferred to TSU, where she played four seasons and graduated with a a master’s degree in education in 2010.
Douglas moved to Stephenville in the first grade from her native Celina. She and husband Josh Douglas have two children — Harlee, 5, and Scout, 3. Her mother, Karli Carlile, still resides in Stephenville. Josh played football (defensive end) for Tarleton in 2008 and 2009, and was a member of the Texans’ LSC co-conference championship team his senior year.