Call it deja vu or a coincidence, but Laurie Jakubczak is back on the girls high school basketball sidelines again.
The former Seton Academy coach is the athletic director at Mother McAuley High School and is back in the coaching box for the second time in three years.
When Mighty Macs coach Karen Ade took a leave in 2010 when she had a child, Jakubczak stepped in. Ade is having twins this time, and look who's directing the Mighty Macs.
"I didn't think I would come back and coach again, but not so," Jakubczak said. "So, here I am again."
The McAuley grad is not complaining, and because she knew she would be taking over, Jakubczak served as an assistant coach for Ade.
"It's exciting, and I am enjoying it," Jakubczak said. "Some of these girls were freshmen and sophomores when I coached two years ago. I think my helping Karen made the transition easier, but anytime a different coach comes in, players and the coach have to make adjustments."
She said the Mighty Macs have made her re-entry as a head coach a fun one.
"We have good kids, and it is a lot of fun to be back," Jakubczak said. "I know it is temporary until Karen comes back, but it does require a lot of work. The fact that we just have basketball, bowling and gymnastics in the winter make it a little easier. We have several more sports in the fall and spring."
If her plate is not full enough, she coaches CYO basketball for Christ the King grammar school. Husband Tom, a former Seton coach and St. Francis de Sales grad, coaches the team their son Tommy is on.
"Oh, it keeps me busy, but I enjoy doing both," Jakubczak said. "I love coaching, but this is my last year at Christ the King."
Next year, Tommy will attend Brother Rice. He was born two weeks after Laurie led Seton to the Class A Elite Eight, and the Sting finished 22-9. She spent 20 years at Seton, 11 as head coach. Her 146 wins make her the school's all-time winningest coach. She was The Times Coach of the Year for the 1989-90 season as the Sting won a Class AA regional.
Can she get a regional title this year? The Mighty Macs are in the Class 4A Marian Catholic Regional and could meet the host Spartans in the championship.
"I am not looking that far, because anything can happen," Jakubczak said. "Marist is clearly the favorite and the No. 1 seed in the sectional. We have to worry about Bloom (Township) in our first (regional) game."
Yes, anything can happen. Like coming back for a second stint as a head coach.
Having people like Laurie Jakubczak involved with young people -- whether it's being an athletic director or coach -- is a good thing.
This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.