Coach Jay Voiselle encourages his players to have faith, reminding them that, as the Bible teaches us, “the humble will be exalted.”
Voiselle is a devout Christian and active member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church and often uses scripture to inspire his players.
“My faith translates over to my job and to coaching. Occasionally we do have devotions and read some scipture and talk about how it applies to our game,” said Voiselle. “You’ve got to have faith in everything you do, faith on the field or court, faith in Christ. And it’s important for the kids to know that.”
Voiselle is a family man who resides in Union with his wife, Renarda and two kids, Layla and Jaylon.
A graduate of Union High School in 1996, Voiselle then spent a year at Spartanburg Tech before transferring to USC Union where he received an associate’s degree in 2003. He then moved on to USC Upstate where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in science and physical education in 2007.
Voiselle’s first teaching job came shortly thereafter at Carver Middle School where he taught for six months before being hired on at Lockhart Middle School in 2008.
Voiselle immediately took on a full load, not only teaching physical education, but also coaching boys and girls basketball and baseball at Lockhart, and football at Jonesville Middle School.
This year, Voiselle exchanged his coaching position with Jonesville Middle for Union County ninth grade football where he serves as head coach.
“I grew up around sports with my dad coaching and I realized that I wanted to couple sports skills with life skills and decided I wanted to be a teacher and a coach,” said Voiselle. “I’m a firm believer in doing what you love and of all the things college offered me, this is what I knew I’d love.”
Voiselle describes himself as a player’s coach, one who tries to understand the athletes and relate to them on a personal level.
“I normally try to step into their shoes before reacting because I was once in their shoes playing football so I know how hard it can be to be a player and try to learn what the coach is teaching you.”
Voiselle’s coaching style is most likely inspired by his own experience with sports, having played football for the likes of Shell Dula, Tim Harrison, and Benny Yeargin, all of whom Voiselle said were instrumental in his development as a player and as a person.
Lockhart has been a good fit for Voiselle, who said he can relate to the school’s reputation for being the scrappy underdog.
“We really head into each season as the underdog and I think that fits me as a coach,” said Voiselle. “That’s been my situation a lot in life and I understand these kids. They’re down in numbers and know they’re kind of overlooked. That’s the way I like it. Because when you’re looked over and then prevail, it’s a special feeling and I’m confident that these kids will experience that in their futures.”