Hall of Fame Inductee Q&A: Jane Olgilvie

In 1971, Forest Hills Central created a girls competitive athletic program that was more than just your typical GAA after-school programs. Jane Ogilvie was one of the pioneers behind creating a competitive athletic program for girls, and since then her legacy has lived on to this day and is still flourishing and helping to create new opportunities for high school girls.

Jane graduated from high school in 1963 and went on to attend Central Michigan University in the class of 1968 with a major in Health, Physical Education, and a minor in Business. Immediately after graduation, she received a job offer from Forest Hills Central in 1970 but came to discover the lack of girls athletics that were available. Since then, she has helped to create a policy that does not discriminate based on gender and has been a constant advocate for girls sports teams. From 1970-2019, girls athletics have come a long way, and Ogilvie is one of the people that should be thanked for this amazing accomplishment.

What got you involved in sports when you were a kid?

“When I was a junior in high school, I tagged along with my father, who was a referee for football, basketball, and Little League baseball. My love for sports grew from watching him do what he did and interact with all of the players he coached and reffed. Not to mention that fifty years ago [when I was in high school] there was only GAA after school. I loved sports and liked to be active, so I participated in basketball, volleyball, and softball. When I wasn’t doing GAA, I was cheerleading and did that for six years.”

What is your favorite memory from coaching sports in the past?

“Not the wins or the losses or the trophies, but the relationships I had with my players. Their effort, courage, and being proud of their accomplishments—whether big or small—and having fun doing it. I trusted them, and they gave their all and never disappointed me.”

Looking back on it, is there anything you would have done differently?

“No, not at all. I have had a beautiful opportunity to do what I loved and follow my passion for teaching at the high school and middle school levels and coaching student-athletes.”

What were some of your biggest achievements in high school, and how did they impact your outlook on the rest of your life?

“I was a student council representative, secretary of the French Club, class secretary, class treasurer, cheerleader, on the homecoming court, and participated in the GAA. These activities taught me self-discipline, organization, how to be on task, and how to build relationships that I have used, not only in my teaching and coaching but throughout life as well.”

What does it mean to you to be inducted into the Forest Hills Central Hall of Fame?

“There are no words to describe it truly, other than I am so honored and humbled to be with the inductees and icons that have gone before me, with me and those that will follow me.”

What advice do you have for any students who are in sports now?

“Never give up and enjoy your success, but learn from all of your failures. Understand the unique power that sports have to bring people together and be a source of pride, inspiration, and conversation in communities everywhere. Sports will give you gifts beyond what some people could ever imagine and more than you can ever give back. Try to do all you can to give your sport or sports a bigger stage and brighter lights so others can see and follow in your footsteps.”

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