By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 19, 2018) — Stephenville ISD has named Shay Gracy Douglas its lone finalist to replace Fran Metzger as head volleyball coach. She won’t officially be hired until approved by a majority vote of SISD trustees, who are scheduled to meet again February 19.
Douglas, currently head coach at 4A Giddings, was a member of the 2003 state championship team at Stephenville and went on to play at Tarleton State University.
Five finalists were interviewed this week, and superintendent Matt Underwood says second behind Douglas was current Stephenville freshman volleyball coach and state champion assistant girls soccer coach Katie Fulton, who also played volleyball at Tarleton.
“We had a good pool of candidates, I was very pleased,” said Underwood, who led a committee through the search. “In the end, Shay came across with a lot of confidence, energy and intensity. We had a former player on the committee who said, ‘You know, I wish I could play for her,’ and I think that says a lot.”
Fulton was also impressive, Underwood said.
“Katie was the only candidate we interviewed with no head coaching experience, and she still came in a strong second,” he said. “I hope she stays because I feel like together they would be an incredible 1-2 punch.”
Underwood said being from Stephenville didn’t make Douglas a shoe-in for the position.
“It certainly doesn’t hurt, but being a great player and being from here doesn’t make her a great coach,” he explained. “But I looked into her career and the last few years at Giddings she’s really been on a roll with a lot of success.”
Under Douglas, Giddings reached the regional quarterfinals each of the last three seasons. Stephenville, since falling from what is now Conference 5A, reached the regional finals in 2013 and regional semifinals in 2015. The Honeybees made it to the area round in 2016 and lost a five-set bi-district match to Kennedale in 2017.
Metzger is retiring in May. She established the Stephenville volleyball program in 1995 and is the only head coach the Honeybees have had.