Q&A with new track and field assistant coach Zully Douglas

Georgia State women’s track and field head coach Kyle Stevenson announced that Miami native Zully Douglass has been named the new cross country and track and field assistant coach at Georgia State. 

“Coach Douglass is truly a rare find,” Stevenson said. “Our program was missing a few elements, and she brings a great deal of those to the table.”

Stevenson points out that the team has “a huge international footprint when recruiting,” and his new assistant’s Latinx roots “will allow those ties to grow stronger.”

He admitted that the team “[lacks] local/regional relationships with the distance community” and emphasized how “[Douglass] will be able to secure recruiting in our backyard, along with building support with our local community.”

Coach Douglass attended the University of Miami, and throughout her life, she has played many sports and won several championships. 

Her tenacity and experience in the sports community make her a perfect fit for this position. 

Meadow Barrow: What about Georgia State, and Atlanta, in general, makes you happy to be here? 

Coach Douglass: I am happy to be in such a diverse place. It’s also nice to experience the four different seasons of the year. 

MB: What is your favorite thing about coaching, and what are the strengths that you bring to this team? 

CD: I enjoy the fact that I can relate to the athletes. I am an avid runner, which really helps me … understand the training they are going through on a personal level.

MB: How passionate are you about sports? 

CD: I’m very passionate about sports because I believe they can be life-changing [regarding] mental health, economic equality, exposure to different cultures, places and people, discipline, teamwork and many other positive aspects for participants.

MB: Did you play a sport in college? High school? If so, what was your favorite memory as an athlete? Did you win any championships? 

CD: I played several sports, [including] softball, baseball, flag football, basketball, cross country and track. In high school, I concentrated on track and field. Individually, I won several championships in high school. In college, [I] contributed to two indoor and outdoor conference championships. 

MB: What about the University of Miami did you love the most? 

CD: I loved the positivity around campus and the willingness [of] my professors and coaches to help me succeed. 

MB: What made you want to major in educational leadership, specializing in world languages? 

CD: Education is important to me. There are so many people around the world, especially women, who are unable to receive a formal education, and I wanted to make sure not to take my education for granted. I am a native Spanish speaker, and it was important to me to be able to professionally communicate in Spanish. 

MB: Who or what has been your biggest support system? How? 

CD: My biggest support system is my family. They cheer me on every step of the way. 

MB: What is your relationship with your family like? 

CD: I’m thankful that my family relationships are uplifting, positive and loving. 

MB: How have Coaches Stevenson, Ramsey and Marshall helped you transition into this new role? Has anyone else been a big help to you? 

CD: Coach Kyle has been beyond helpful going the extra mile, and each of the track coaches met with me quickly to offer their support and willingness to help me transition. I really appreciated that. There are so many new issues to navigate during this pandemic, and it’s nice that they are guiding me and volunteering their time to support me. 

My former supervisors from Atlanta International School, Kevin and Stephanie Glass, Reilly Campbell, Dee Dee Dennis, Kendyl Moss and Khaili Sanders, have been extremely supportive and congratulatory to me. 

MB: As the new cross country/track and field assistant coach, what are you most excited for? 

CD: As the new assistant coach, I am most excited to learn the different training programs for specific events. 

MB: What are your plans for the future? 

CD: [I plan] to be the best assistant coach that I can be and take it one step at a time as I develop new skills.