Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No One Laughs at the Female Coach Now

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No One Laughs at the Female Coach Now

Article excerpt

When Justin Brunson signed up for the Greater Arlington Soccer

Club, he had no idea who would coach the Arlington Predators.

When his mother told him it was a woman, the 14-year-old felt

as if his jaw had fallen to the floor of his Arlington home.

"I had only had men coaches before. It was difficult switching,"

Justin said. "I still was unsure about her, but after going to

the District Cup and winning it, she's the best coach I've ever


Charlene Taulbee didn't need a 9-1 record and a victory in this

spring's District Cup to win over any of the 13- and

14-year-olds she coaches. Their doubts were erased soon after

the first practice.

"She wasn't as mean as the other coaches. She was real nice,"

Justin said. "I guess I was stubborn at first and I didn't get

into it. I wasn't helping her out by being stubborn. But the

team kept getting better and better.

"Now, I really like her."

The Predators compete in a district that stretches from

Fernandina Beach to St. Augustine to Lake City and southwest to

Gainesville. At the end of the season, teams enter the playoffs

in hopes of getting to the championship game and winning the

District Cup, said Jack Bernard, president of the Greater

Arlington Soccer Club.

"She [Taulbee] got second place last year and she just wasn't

satisfied with that," Bernard said. "She said, `Next year, I

want to win it all.'"

For seven seasons, the Arlington mother of three has coached

kids, including two of her own, in softball, baseball and

soccer. She played some soccer and softball herself but never

thought about coaching until someone approached her husband and

asked him if he'd coach soccer.

"He said, `No, I'm too busy with baseball, but why don't you

ask my wife?'" said Taulbee, who agreed to volunteer for the

non-paying job. "I just knew you were supposed to score a goal

and that was about it."

She quickly learned more about the game and how to teach it to

youngsters. But rude comments about a woman coaching a boys team

took a little longer to get used to.

"I used to hear snickers and staring. …

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