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Coach Zayac To Retire

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Did you know that Coach Joanna Zayac is in Jacksonville University’s Sports Hall of Fame? If Westside High School had one, she’d be in that one too, some say. “She is probably the most athletic person I know. Any sport she plays, she excels. She hates to lose in anything,” said Coach Fred Girgis, who has been a friend and co-worker to Zayac for decades. Zayac has played and coached softball and volleyball, though she remains renowned for her golf game. She rarely loses, coaches said. Some students say Zayac is intimidating. “She comes off as standoffish but once you get to know her, you see she is really caring,” said sophomore Nicole Brazier, whose home burned down in early September. “She donated money to my family after hearing about what happened.” Zayac’s 35-year-career at Westside is over. She is retiring. Zayac’s last day wil be Dec. 19. No more 20-minute roll calls or cleani9ng trash out of the bleachers. “I have mixed emotions about the big day,” Zayac said, adding that she has unconditional love for the school and students. “But, at the same time , 35 years is a long time. I’m ready to move on to my next career.” She hasn’t decided what the next career will be yet. She has decided she doesn’t like being intervied or photographed. She’s more of a behind-the-scenes person. She hates all the attention lately. Zayac said her best experience at Westside High doesn’t include one person but the entire school. Her regrets are slim to none. She leaves these words of wisdom to students: “Take advantage of Gym because it can help your GPA. Eat healthy and exercise three times a week,” she said. “Your health is the most important asset you can give yourself.”

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Coach Zayac To Retire