NEW ORLEANS The name Jay Jay Juan could strike fear in the minds of high school volleyball coaches throughout the state of Louisiana.
In 11 seasons with Mount Carmel, Juan racked up more than 300 victories and three state championships, including one in 2006, his final season leading the Cubs.
But then Juan left, following family to Monroe. He landed a job coaching at Louisiana Tech, where he spent two years learning some of the intricacies of the sport he loves most.
And now he's back in New Orleans.
Juan accepted the head coaching job at Ursuline Academy recently, and will take over from Melissa Grubbs, who was the interim coach after Marta Bott left to fight a cancer relapse. Bott died in December and Grubbs has been watching over the program since.
She'll stay on as an assistant.
On Wednesday, Juan took time out of his schedule at St. Frederick Catholic School in Monroe to talk with WWL-TV.com about his move home.
WWLTV.com: You've been out of high school coaching for a few years. Why get back in now?
Jay Jay Juan: "I've always like high school athletics. I like the camaraderie. There's something special about coaching the high school-aged kids. You're teaching body, soul and mind. Hopefully, I can add little bit more to that. You're teaching really about life lessons. I'm a school teacher who happens to be a volleyball coach. But volleyball is in my blood. That's what it comes down to.
WWLTV.com: What about Ursuline drew you there?
Juan: "For them, I've never met a more active administration. They were active in the recruiting process. When you're talking about (Principal) John Gabriel and (President) Gretchen Kane, they were active in recruiting me for this program. How many administrators are going to drive up four hours to sit and talk with you about their school and their volleyball job?
WWLTV.com: How quickly did you accept the job? Was there any pause about it being at a school other than Mount Carmel?
Juan: "I thought about it, maybe to mull it over a little bit. The point is I want back in volleyball. I want to be able to coach. They made a great sale job. They made a good push for me with what they're doing academically, the people they'r e bringing in and what they're doing athletically.
WWLTV.com: What did you learn from your time at Louisiana Tech?
Juan: "I learned a lot more of the finer points in the game. When you're talking about college athletes and their ability to play, you're talking about a finer level athlete. I learned how to manage those athletes and specifics about the game such as blocking, self scouting. I felt like I was an OK coach, but I feel like I'm coming home a better coach.
WWLTV.com: The coaching fraternity in volleyball is close. Talk about taking over for Marta Bott, who built the Ursulines program and died recently after a bout with cancer?
Juan: "Just a good, well-rounded woman. I'm not there to replace her. I'm there to watch over a program she built. Any time you needed something and you called her up, she'd help you out. She meant a lot to that program. I'm just taking over her program and am watching it. She was just a good person. That's how you want to remember her. These kids are her kids. She watched all these kids grow up.