PINEVILLE, La. – Four years after leaving LSU Alexandria as a top goalkeeper of the developing Generals team, then coaching goalkeepers at both LSUA and Belhaven, Carla Tejas returns to central Louisiana to take control of the Louisiana College women’s soccer team as its new head coach, athletic direction Reni Mason announced on Monday.
“First of all, I would like to thank God for his blessings,” said Tejas. “I would also like to thank Dr. Rick Brewer and Coach Mason for this opportunity and for trusting me with the Louisiana College women’s soccer program. I am excited to be part of this institution and I look forward to working with the student-athletes and developing a soccer program which will have goals emphasizing high standards in the classroom, on the field, and off of it. I’m blessed to get back to CenLA and work with an amazing group of people.”
Tejas, a native of Santiago, Chile, started her college career at Hannibal-LaGrange, where she amassed a 4-2-2 career record before transferring to Alexandria. At LSUA, Tejas went 5-6 between the pipes and had a 1.275 goals against average in two seasons with the Generals.
After her playing days ended, Tejas joined the LSUA coaching staff for the 2017 season, working with the goalkeepers, where the Generals achieved clean sheets in ten of their 19 matches and a 0.68 goals against average on the way to the program’s first Red River Athletic Conference regular season championship. The main goalkeeper under her tutelage earned RRAC Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All-Conference honors in 2017.
“Louisiana College has made a great hire in selecting Carla Tejas,” said current LSUA head men’s soccer coach Michael Poropat, who was the women’s head coach while Tejas was in Alexandria. “She is a very good coach and an even better person. Her energy, attitude, knowledge of the game, and coaching ability was vital in her time at LSUA helping to create a winning culture. I wish Carla nothing but the best, and I will enjoy watching her coaching career take off at LC.”
Over the last two seasons, Tejas has been on the coaching staff of the Lady Wildcats’ American Southwest Conference-foe, Belhaven University. In her two years in Jackson, Mississippi, Tejas has helped seal the sieve at the Lady Blazers goal, seeing BU’s goals allowed per game average fall from 3.76 in 2017, the season before she joined, to just 1.55 goals allowed per contest in 2019, a drop of more than 2.2 goals per game. That helped spur a major turnaround for the Lady Blazers, which saw Belhaven go from a two-win team in 2017 and 2018 to a ten-win team last season and earn a spot in the eight-team ASC Championship Tournament.
“We are pleased to add Coach Carla Tejas to the Wildcat family at Louisiana College,” said Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer. “Coach Tejas’ commitment to student success academically, spiritually, and athletically underscores the significant leadership and energy she will provide for advancing the College’s vision for preparing graduates and transforming lives.”
Tejas replaces Samantha Etherington, who reigned earlier this year to accept an assistant coaching spot at NCAA Division I-program, Idaho State.