REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- When Jasmine Ray found out she'd been hired as the head coach of the Community Christian College football team in Redlands, she knew she would have her doubters.
"It's a man's world, that's what a lot of them said," said Ray, who believes she's the first female to lead a college football team in the country.
"They told me (I'm) going to get ate up, spit out, and that's what it's going to be. And I'm like ok, we'll see," she said.
Ray's players fully support her, although at first Ray said they were surprised who was hired to lead the team.
"They were like, hey mom, we ain't ever been coached by a girl before," said Ray. "And I said, well, now you get a chance."
Devante Murphy, one of the football players on last year's team, said on game day she has as much if not more intensity that anyone who's ever coached him.
"It doesn't really matter, whether you're male or female; it doesn't matter," said Murphy. "As long as they get the job done, that's what it's all about."
But even though the 2023 season was Ray's first year as a college football head coach, she has extensive experience on the football field. When she was a student at San Bernardino High School, she played on the varsity team as a receiver.
When asked why she wanted to play football to begin with, Ray said it was mostly because of those who doubted her.
"One of the guys was talking crap, and he started jawing. And I told him that I wasn't the type of athlete that shies away from a challenge," she said.
The school principal at San Bernardino High School, Anna Sosa, was also Ray's teacher when she was a student there more than a decade ago.
Sosa said she was not at all surprised that she wanted to play football as a student, and is less surprised she's continued to push the limits.
"She was always trying to do different things and stretch herself and I was all for it. She's a trailblazer, and a great role model for other young ladies," Sosa said.