CHEYENNE – Kay Olivas has let her faith guide her for most of her life.
It led her to leave sunny Huntington Beach, California, to take a preferred walk-on spot as a goalkeeper at the University of Wyoming, and she has let prayerful consideration dictate the path she has followed since.
That includes applying to be Cheyenne Central’s girls soccer coach, a position which she accepted Tuesday.
“When the Lord opens the door, you either follow what he’s telling you to do, or you don’t,” Olivas said. “For me, I did a lot of prayer when I saw the job open. I had a lot of friends I talked to about it, and I truly felt like I was being called to apply.”
Olivas has spent the past eight years as a goalkeepers coach for the Laramie County Community College men’s and women’s soccer teams. Prior to that, she spent three seasons as the interim women’s soccer coach at Northwest College in Powell. Olivas also has coached goalkeepers for the Cheyenne Sting competitive youth soccer program, runs her own company coaching keepers and was the Wyoming Olympic Development Program’s director of coaching.
“I have a sister who is about seven years younger than I am, and I started helping her teams when I was about 15 or 16,” said Olivas, who plans to continue coaching at LCCC. “I didn’t think I’d ever go into coaching, but, midway through my schooling at the University of Wyoming, I decided I didn’t want to spend my life doing a job I didn’t thoroughly enjoy doing.
“I enjoy the everyday challenges that coaching has brought. I changed my major and focused on the coaching and strength and conditioning side of things.”
While Olivas specializes in coaching goalkeepers, she has helped field players with her knowledge and creative drill work.
“I’m a winger, and we’ve done a lot of things wingers do,” LCCC sophomore Carlos Vargas said. “It’s all about getting those repetitions, and it’s a lot about finishing.
“(Olivas) has introduced me to drills I’ve never seen. I try to figure out what we’re doing based on what I see on the field, but I’m usually nowhere close. There’s always some drill that you’ve never seen, but it’s helpful, and you don’t get bored of it.”
Building relationships with players has helped Olivas throughout her coaching career.
“When you get to know the person, it makes it 10 times easier to coach the player,” she said. “Every person you come into contact with is different. The same thing doesn’t work for everybody, so I try to take my time and get to know them and what makes them tick, what drives them and what they want to improve on.
“That allows me to teach them the way they learn best. That helps me out a lot.”