Inevitably, the temptation to return to her native roots, proved too much for Ursula Quoyeser to spurn.
That she was afforded the opportunity to return to Episcopal School of Acadiana after a decade away from the tiny Cade-based campus and coach volleyball was simply lagniappe.
Quoyeser, who helped lead ESA to nine of the school’s 17 state volleyball championships from 1994-2005, confirmed her return to lead the Falcons program next school year.
“It kind of fell together and evolved,” said Quoyeser, a native of Lafayette and 1985 graduate of Louisiana-Lafayette. “We’re excited about it.”
ESA completed the past season with a 13-14 record under Julie Dawson and was eliminated by Catholic-Pointe Coupee in the regional round of the Division V state playoffs.
The Falcons last won state in 2006 — the year after Quoyeser left — and followed that with seven consecutive state runners-up finishes.
Quoyeser will complete her 10th year at St. John’s School in Houston, where she’s served in a multifaceted role in athletics and physical education.
“Ursula has such a great ability to connect to all of her athletes and an amazing gift to make every player feel a part of the program,” ESA Athletic Director Mike Bourgeois said. “She brings so much more than just a volleyball coach to ESA. She will be huge in every aspect of our school. We are happy that she will be working with our alumni and will be a great mentor to our other coaches and teachers.”
Quoyeser said she received a call from Bourgeois last month looking for potential candidates to coach the program, which is regarded as one of the state’s best.
More specifically Bourgeois inquired about former players that might be interested when he turned the question to Quoyeser, who then followed up with school principal Paul Baker after the Christmas holidays.
“The bottom line was that I wanted to go back to ESA and help raise money, help the school for down the road,” Quoyeser said. “I loved my 11 years there and I knew in the next 15 years I’ll retire and you start to think about those things.”
Quoyeser, the first female member of UL-Lafayette’s Athletics Hall of Fame, won a total of 14 state titles while at ESA. She went 335-108 with nine championships in volleyball, was named the state’s Division V Coach of the Year eight times and also won five titles with the girls track program.
“I just love the place,” Quoyeser said. “There’s no place like it. One day I always wanted to do what I could (to help ESA).”