Douglas High School athletic administrator Jeff Evans didn’t have to go far to find a new coach for the Lady Tigers soccer team.
The school announced recently that it had hired former standout player and junior varsity head coach Jenny Jaggard to lead the program into its next chapter.
“My main priority is to instill a love of the game in the players,” Jaggard said. “My focus isn’t as much on winning as it is on teaching the game, teaching players to play the game well.
“Obviously, the goal for any high school team is to win a state championship. And that is our goal. But more than anything, I want to bring each team, each year to the highest potential it can reach. Every group of kids is different, it’s just a matter of finding the ways to bring the very best out of each collective group.”
Jaggard has been coaching the junior varsity program at Douglas for the past five years and has extensive knowledge of the regional and community soccer landscape.
“It’s kind of an ideal time for me,” Jaggard said. “When I first got out of college, I had that thought that if a varsity head coaching job was open, I’d take it. The last five years have been such a learning experience, I’m so grateful there weren’t any spots like that open.
“I got to learn not only how to coach, but just the organizational side of coaching and so many different aspects that tie in. It’s hard work and I’m glad I had the chance to figure it out at the JV level.”
Evans said Jaggard made an ideal fit for the program.
“Just during the interview process, she really stood out,” Evans said. “She has a lot of playing experience and a lot of coaching experience. She knows the program, the kids know her. It seemed like a perfect fit.”
Jaggard was a key cog in the Tiger starting lineup in 2003. From there, she went on to play at Lassen College and later at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. She played for Benjamin Wade at both schools. Wade, has since become better known for his appearance on the reality television show “Survivor: Toncantins”, where he commonly went by the name, “Coach.”
At Lassen, Jaggard earned first-team All-Golden Valley Conference honors as well as an All-American nomination.
She earned academic all-conference honors while at Southwest Baptist.
“It was funny, I never even had a thought about coaching when I was a player,” Jaggard said. “It never crossed my mind. Once I stopped playing, though, I missed it so much. I sent (former Douglas coach) Lorraine Fitzhugh a note saying I’d love to help out in any way I could, thinking she probably had plenty of help already.
“She took me up on it though, and that year I started coaching the junior varsity team. I learned so much from her. I think people will see a lot of similarities in our coaching styles. We see eye to eye on a lot of things and approach the game the same way. And she succeeded.
“Those are some big shoes to fill. They won two state titles in the last five years. It is a winning program. I want to help maintain that.”
Jaggard has taught at Grace Christian Academy for the past five years as well. She will be assisted by longtime varsity assistant Kelli Day.
“Jenny is just a great person and we know she will be a great coach for this program,” Evans said. “We were familiar with her style already, just from having watched her at the JV level. I’m excited for her.”
Douglas is coming off a league championship season and returns a high number of starters and other key players from that group, including leading scorer McKenna Kynett, first-team all-leaguers Lindsey Adams and Hannah Coverley and goalkeeper Corryne Millett.
Fitzhugh announced she was stepping down in the spring in order to spend more time with her family.
The soccer program has a number of training activities scheduled this summer. They can be viewed at this link.