SMS builds athletic program with new coaching staff
Posted August 11, 2012
SMS Athletics Director Dean Monroe is pleased to welcome three new head coaches to Saint Mary's this year:
Mary Cockrill – Head Varsity Tennis Coach
Mary Cockrill of Raleigh has been named head varsity tennis coach at Saint Mary’s School. Cockrill comes to Saint Mary’s from Cardinal Gibbons where she was the head coach for the jayvee girls’ tennis team and associate varsity tennis coach for both the girls and boys teams. She began at Cardinal Gibbons as assistant development director. As a fan of athletics at the school, she took on the sports concession stands for 11 years before her enthusiasm for tennis led her to coaching tennis.
Cockrill played high school tennis and has competed in USTA, Triangle Tennis and World Team Tennis leagues in Raleigh, playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles. A tennis player since early childhood, Mary continues to play competitively with the USTA.
“I am excited about the opportunity to coach at Saint Mary's,” says Cockrill. “The incredible history of Saint Mary’s tennis program is inspiring, and I am thrilled to a part of a winning tennis tradition.”
Cockrill lives in Raleigh with her husband of 30 years and has three children. She hails from El Paso, Texas, and has previously lived around the United States and Europe.
Jim Freeman – Head Varsity Volleyball Coach
Jim Freeman of Wake Forest has been named head varsity volleyball coach at Saint Mary’s. Freeman has coached in the Triangle Volleyball Club for seven years. His 20-year high school coaching record stands at 426-111 (.785), including one year at Friendship Christian School and 19 seasons (1991-2010) at Cardinal Gibbons High School where he led the Crusaders to 10 state championships, including six North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) titles and four North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) titles. From 1998-2009, Freeman’s Crusaders earned 12 consecutive state final appearances and 12 straight conference championships.
The Alabama native, who was raised in the Pittsburgh area, has a long history of helping girls achieve their athletic potential. At one time, Freeman coached a squad with nine future Division I players on its roster, and he has coached over 30 Division I players that have gone on to attend colleges such as Penn State, UCLA, Duke, Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, LSU and N.C. State, among others. He was also assistant director of athletics at Cardinal Gibbons and coached the varsity baseball team to three conference championships from 1992-1997 and was assistant varsity girls basketball coach from 1997-2005 as the Lady Crusaders claimed four conference championships. Freeman also has college coaching experience, including a season as head volleyball coach for Barton College women’s program and one season as assistant coach for the Duke University women’s team.
A member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Freeman graduated from Liberty University in 1985 with a B.S. in physical education and completed 30 hours of graduate study in exercise and sports science at UNC-Chapel Hill. He resides in Wake Forest with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter.
Freeman says, “I am confident about building Saint Mary’s volleyball program and providing students with the skills, support and motivation they need to succeed as a team and as individual athletes. I’m excited to be a part of the Saint Mary’s School community and pleased to be working again with my good friend, Dean Monroe.”
Read more about Coach Freeman's transition to SMS in this article from the News and Observer:
Former Cardinal Gibbons volleyball coach, Jim Freeman takes Saint Mary’s reins
Holly Yuhase – Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach
Holly Yuhase of Raleigh has been named head varsity field hockey coach for the 2012 season. She is a graduate of Radford University where, as a senior, she led the university’s Division I team in defensive saves and was one of the team’s top scorers. She was playing captain on both offense and defense, and was named to the NFHCA All-Academic Squad each of her four years in college. Yuhase began playing field hockey as a high school freshman at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, Md., where she earned All-State Honorable Mention, All-Conference, All-District and Co-Player of the Year honors. In the off-seasons from school competition, she was a member of the MYFHA Spitfire Club and participated in the USFHA Futures Olympic Development Team. She also competed in the Futures regional tournaments, the National Field Hockey Festival and the National Indoor Tournament.
For the past few years, she has been able to work as an assistant coach on various teams in Maryland and North Carolina under the tutelage of her mother, Bridget LoJacono, who is currently the head varsity field hockey coach at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston. She has also directed the Calvert County Parks and Recreation summer field hockey camp in Maryland.
“I look forward to bringing my playing and coaching experience to Saint Mary’s School,” says Yuhase. “Saint Mary’s has a well-established field hockey program. I hope to be able to build upon the program’s past successes and help the girls strive to continuously grow their athletic abilities.”
Yuhase lives with her husband in Raleigh, where she is pursuing additional degrees at N.C. State University.