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Spotlight on Former Athlete: Ursula Quoyeser, Softball & Volleyball 1981-84, Coaches 1984-86

 

Quoyeser finds fulfillment in various ways

 

 

By Bruce Brown

 

Written for Athletic Network

 

 

Ursula Quoyeser has never been afraid of a challenge.

 

Quoyeser, the first female inducted into UL’s Athletic Hall of Fame, was a four-year standout in both volleyball and softball for the Ragin’ Cajuns from 1981-84 after a multi-sport high school career at Lafayette High.

 

She then coached at LHS and at UL, took a successful turn as an assistant at Pasco Hernando Community College in Florida, and returned to the Bayou State to build an imposing legacy at Episcopal School of Acadiana.

 

At ESA, Quoyeser had a 335-108 record in volleyball that included nine state championships, added four state crowns in track and field and served as the school’s athletic director.

 

It was little surprise to see her inducted into the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame, presented by former UL softball coach and mentor Yvette Girouard and by Brenda LeBlanc, who built the ESA volleyball program before Quoyeser took over.

 

But there were other roads to explore.

 

In 2005, Quoyeser left ESA for St. John’s School in Houston and a multi-purpose role in physical education and athletics. After some adjustments, the move has been a good fit for the former Cajun star.

 

She may have saved her biggest challenge for last, though.

 

Five years ago, Quoyeser adopted a pair of brothers from an extremely impoverished background in west Texas and is raising them as a single parent.

 

Kenneth and Woody were 8 and 10 when I adopted them,” Quoyeser said. “They had a limited background. They’re awesome kids, though. They love sports. An agency paired me up with them.

 

Kenneth weighed 2 pounds when he was born. He’s 13, and still struggles with the names of cities. Woody is 16, but looks like he’s in fourth grade. He’s in Harlingen at Marine Military Camp, and likes the structure there.

 

I’m raising them on my own. It’s tough, but they’re good kids, very loving.”

 

Quoyeser was able to alter her coaching duties to middle school, meaning she would spend less time at work after school, in order to make the new challenge work.

 

My parents both died when I was young (at ages 33 and 28), and I had three younger brothers,” Quoyeser said. “I was raised by an aunt and uncle. At 45, I decided I wanted to give back, to give kids an opportunity. I wanted to adopt two brothers and was able to work with an agency to make it happen.

 

The little kids are as awesome as the older ones. It’s fun. It’s challenging.”

 

Currently, Quoyeser is in charge of lower school physical education at SJS (some 400 students). She coaches middle school boys volleyball, girls soccer and softball.

 

I tell people I get paid to play,” she said. “It’s really fun. I have 12 people on staff. We offer more than 20 sports. At the end of the day, I’m a coach.

 

I wasn’t really seeking to be a head coach or athletic director when I came here. I was willing to be an assistant. I had spent myself at ESA. I needed a break. I knew I wanted to retire one day. I was burnt out. I needed to stop the cycle.

 

As hard as it was, because I loved ESA, I needed a change in my lifestyle.”

 

SJS is similar to ESA, but much larger – and more enclosed.

 

It was a different physical environment from the start,” Quoyeser said. “ESA is so open, and I’m an outdoors person. It took me two or three years to find a level of comfort.”

 

Environments may change, but the drive to coach has always been a strong one.

 

It came naturally to me,” Quoyeser said. “My high school teammates used to tell me I was trying to be a coach. I have an aunt who was a high school coach. I loved sports, and knew this was what I wanted to do.”

 

Quoyeser, who found time to be a standout golfer among her team sports, coached at LHS for four years. She posted a 26-12 volleyball record as UL’s coach, and was a basketball assistant to Bobby Bowman at Pasco Hernando.

 

She was a natural athletic fit at UL in both volleyball and softball, among the first to get the latter sport under way under Girouard.

 

I was more gifted in softball,” she said. “Once I was taught to spike, volleyball was fun. I liked softball as a player, but as a coach I enjoy volleyball. There are more X’s and O’s.

 

We had so much fun getting the softball program off the ground. I loved it. I would practice all day long. We had players like Blaise Talbot at catcher, Pat Pourciau, Donna Delahoussaye.

 

There were girls you played together with in high school, and Yvette brought in some players from New Orleans. Eventually she expanded her recruiting base. You make lifelong friendships with teammates.”

 

Quoyeser is among many eagerly anticipating the reunion of UL softball players and coaches scheduled for November.

 

A lifetime in athletics has given Quoyeser a unique perspective on youth sports and their impact.

 

Sports are so much more select now,” she said. “Kids specialize at a young age – you see it in soccer and volleyball – and you get burnt out if you do it all the time. And there’s such a small percent who will get (athletic) scholarships.

 

I grew up playing three or four sports, and loved it. Our high school teams had so much fun. Here (at SJS) we rely on kids for two or three sports. They do play select, too.”

 

Now closer to the end of a sparkling career, Quoyeser is not quite ready to call it quits.

 

I’m 51, and I have children now,” she said. “It’s actually challenging right now. As long as I feel good and keep myself healthy, I’ll keep going.”

Bruce Brown, written for the Athletic Network

* * * * * * * * * *
Ursula and the 1982 Volleyball Team

Ursula and the 1984 Softball Team.

To view more pictures of Ursula, please click on www.athleticnetwork.net   , photo gallery, Softball and Volleyball during her years as a player and member of the volleyball coaching staff.

Click here for Ursula’s Athletic Network Profile. It contains the story of her induction into the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and more.

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

Our rich athletic traditions were entrusted to the vision, hope, loyalty, and dedication of those former athletes and we will forever owe them a debt of sincere gratitude. May God bless each of them and their families.

Anyone with information, materials, pictures, memorabilia, etc., of the university’s former athletic program participants is requested to contact Ed Dugas at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu Thank you.

The Photo Gallery Link located on the left side of the home page at www.athleticnetwork.net contains over 12,000 pictures of former and current athletes and support groups. Just click on photo gallery and when the menu appears, click on the sport or support group you wish to view. The years of pictures posted for that team or group will appear and you may click on the year you wish to view. One click on a thumbnail picture or narrative and it is enlarged; a click on the enlarged photo and it reverts back to the thumbnail.

The Athletic Network seeks to post pictures of each team and support group for each year they represented the university.

The stories of the previous honorees featured in the Spotlight on Former Athletes have been moved from the News Page to the Archived News Page. Please click on the title of any current news story, then the Archived News link in the upper left to go to the Archived News Calendar.

The Spotlight on Former Athletes announcement has also been placed in the profile of each honoree, excluding the pictures.

2013
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
May – Tennis Program – April 19-20 Reunion – Simmons, Cook, Albertine
June – Stefni Whitton Lotief –  Softball 1987-90, Coach 1995-97 & 2000-12
July – Tony Robichaux – Baseball 1984 and Coach 1994 – present
August – Jake Delhomme – Football 1993-96
September – Judi Ford Nash – Gymnastics & Trampoline 1967 & 68, Miss America 1969
October – Ursula Quoyeser – Softball & Volleyball 1981-84, Coaches 1984-86

2012
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
January – Ruthie Dugal, Women’s Basketball 1970-73, Volleyball 71-74, Coaching 1974 & 75.
February – Eric Mouton, Men’s Basketball 1987-92, Coaching 1994-97
March – Robert Dunphy, Baseball 1979-82
April – Dawn Broussard, Track & Field 1985-89
May – William C. "Trey" Coker, III Golf 1990-93
June – Danny, Baseball, 1977 & 78, and Meg Scopes Cook, Tennis 77 & 78, Coaches 78-84
July – Dr. Johnny Mack Hollier, Track & Field 1969-71 and Band 1969-71
August – John Bordelon, Football 1973-76
September – Courtney Hofland, Soccer 2006-2010
October – Anna Petrakova, Women’s Basketball 2001-05
November – Yvette Girouard, Volleyball 1972-75, Head Softball Coach 1981-2000
December – Byron Starks, Men’s Basketball 1990-94 and Coach 2007-09

2011
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
January – Ashley Rhoney and Bret Garnett 1988 Tennis
February – Craig Perks Golf 1989 & 90
March – Eddie Baseball/Basketball 60-63,Coach 67;Ross Mouton Basketball 03-07
April – Kim Eisnaugle Chaffin Softball 1983-86
May – Grady Labbe’ Hunt Track & Field 1989-1994
June – Mike Heinen Golf 1986-89
July – Kyla Hall Holas Softball 1991-94
August – Charles Wimberley Track & Field 1953-56
September – Chris Gannon Football 1984-88, Coaches 1995-2000
October – Anne Corbello, Soccer 2000-02, and Ashley Delahoussaye, Soccer 2000-04
November – Nia Kiggundu Volleyball 1993-96

2010
Bruce Brown became feature writer.
January – Andrew Toney Men’s Basketball 1976-80.
February – Orlando Thomas Football 1991-94.
March – Rocky Guidry Football 1990-93, Track & Field 1991-94.
April – Track & Field Network & March 20, 2010 1st Annual Track & Field Reunion.
May – Keisha Ray Owens Williams Track & Field 1991-96.
June – 2000 College World Series Baseball Team.
July – Thirty Years of UL Softball.
August – 1970 Cajuns Measured Up (Football).
September – Boxing Program (1930-1947).
October – Dr. Sam Foreman Baseball & Basketball 1940-42
November – Rhonda McCullough, Women’s Basketball 1986-90
December – Athletic Network-from concept to reality-its mission and practices

2009
Ed Dugas served as feature writer.
January – Tim Thompson Men’s Basketball 1957-61.
February – Gene Bacque Baseball 1956 & 57.
March – Dr. Louis Bowers – Tennis 1956-58, Track 1955, Coaches 1964-66.
April – Dr. Carter Lomax, Jr. Tennis 1974-76.
May – Johnny Morris, Jr. Football 1927-29,Men’s Basketball 1927-30,Track & Field 1928-30, Golf 1927-28, Coaches 1947-49 .
June – S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers I
July – S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers II
August – 1912 – A Special Year – First L’Acadien
September – Glenn Davis Lafleur Football 1966-69
October – Bill Bass – Boxing 1938 & 39, Football 1938-40, Coach 1971-75 & 1983
November – Tom Nolan – Cross Country & Track & Field 1971-76, Coaches 1978-83
December – Military Personnel – Military Page posted

2008
Ed Dugas served as feature writer.
January – Alvin Dark Football, ’43; Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Track, ’44; Coaches, 1947.
February – Alyson Habetz Women’s Basketball 1991-95 and Softball, 1991-94.
March – Ron Guidry Baseball 1968-70.
April – Edgar "Glynn" Abel Baseball 1939, Track & Field 1937-39, Football 1937-39.
May -Christian Keener "Red" Cagle Baseball 1925-26, Basketball (M) 1922-26, Football 1922-25.
June – Paul "Buddy" Short Golf 1962-65.
July – Louis "Louie" Campbell Boxing and Football 1940-41.
August – Dudley Wilkins Track & Field 1933-35.
September – Brad Hamilton Football 1963-66.
October – Brian Mitchell Football 1986-89.
November – Kimberly "Kim" Callaway Morvant Volleyball 1988-91.
December – Kenneth "Mike" Stansbury Weightlifting 1956 – 1957.

2007

Ed Dugas served as the initial feature writer and continued until Bruce Brown began writing in 2010.
June – Michael Langston Football 1973-77;
July – Hollis Conway Track & Field 1986-89;
August – Leigh Hennessy Gymnastics/Trampoline 1976-1980;
September – Dean Church Basketball (M) 1961-65;
October – Dr. David Fisher Football 1946-49 Track & Field 1947-50;
November – Kim Perrot Basketball (W) 1986-90;
December – John McDonnell Cross Country/Track & Field 1966-1969;

Peace, Ed Dugas

Ed Dugas, Research Coordinator
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Network 
athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu 
(337)482-0999