Mark McCormick, John Marshall Girls
Mark McCormick has some big shoes to fill in his first year as head coach of the John Marshall girl's basketball team.
He must replace Stan Blankenship, the winningest coach in the history of West Virginia high school girl's basketball, who spent 36 years at the school.
"I wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for coach Blankenship," said McCormick. "He's taught me not only how to conduct myself on the court, but off as well. I owe a lot to him and I'm very excited about this opportunity."
McCormick first started his 16 year assistant coaching career with a four-year stay at Wheeling Park before going to Bridgeport for a year and then finally settling with the Monarchs.
Now that the team is his, he wants to make his mark.
"Last year we had a very successful season," McCormick said.
"We were able to go 14-9 and didn't have one senior on our roster. This year, everyone's back and I'm very optimistic.
"We're definitely going to focus on the defense this season. When schools think of John Marshall basketball, I want them to think tough defense and competitive rebounding.
Even with all the success of past John Marshall squads, McCormick knows that there will be a transition period.
He stepped in this past summer to make sure his players got the necessary work.
"As being the new coach, I expect to have a few roadbumps along the way. The first is to get the team to look at me now as the head coach and not as an assistant.
"I will put my stamp on this team and make it my own."