By Ben Markley
An assistant coach at the college was the first woman and community college coach ever selected to be the Junior College National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Wendy Louque, assistant coach of women’s soccer, received the award at the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in January. She said she didn’t realize the significance of the award until the ceremony
“You had all these big names in soccer, and I was just thinking, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t even deserve to walk across that stage,’” she said. “When I heard my name, it was just surreal. It was just like, ‘Wow, I’m the first woman and the first junior college coach to win.’”
Jim Schwab, head coach of women’s soccer, said the award was a rare honor.
“It’s one thing to be nominated,” he said. “There’s thousands of coaches that she was up against.”
Louque has coached soccer since she coached a team of four-year-olds at age 15.
“I just love being able to break down the game,” she said. “It’s something that’s in my blood that I just love to do.”
Louque joined the college in 2002 after assistant coaching soccer at MidAmerican Nazarene University. In her ten seasons of coaching at the college, the team has finished runner-up in the NJCAA Division I Championship, won a district championship, won five Region VI championships and maintained a .775 winning percentage.
However, Louque said it was all secondary.
“It’s not about the wins,” she said. “All the winning is nice, but I think that just comes along with it.”
For Louque, building relationships with the players is the most rewarding part of her job.
“My favorite part of coaching comes after the fact, after girls come through the program, and then they leave and I still get to be involved in their lives,” she said. “It’s even more rewarding to maintain that relationship on a friendship basis rather than a player-coach basis. That’s the best part. That’s why I coach.”
She said she’s still in contact with many of her former players.
“I love those times when they come back to our games and they bring their kids or families or when I get to go to their weddings,” she said.
Chomasenia Bouknight, a sophomore forward, said Louque was more than a good soccer coach.
“Not only is she good as a coach because she tries to help us on the soccer field, but she’s just an overall good person because she tries to help with family problems or home problems,” she said.
Off the field, Louque described herself as a “full-time mom” with three kids. She said she was grateful to have a part-time job on the side that she loved.
“When my kids were little I’d say, ‘I’m going to work,’ and my kids would say, ‘Mom, you go to soccer; you don’t go to work,’” she said.
Louque said she hoped to spend many more years coaching at the college. When asked why, her answer was simple.
“You know what, it’s fun,” she said.
Contact Ben Markley, staff reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.