New Smyrna Beach named Cal Cochran as its new girls basketball coach on Wednesday afternoon, athletic director Gerald Fuller said.
Cochran resigned as the women’s basketball coach at Daytona State in March. The Falcons finished 28-3 and advanced to the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I tournament, though Cochran took a medical leave of absence for ankle surgery just before the start of the season.
“I just enjoy coaching; it’s not so much where you coach, it’s why you coach,” Cochran said. “It’s a great opportunity to be a part of a community where they want to see young people thrive.”
A four-year player at Chattanooga, Cochran previously coached at Alabama State from 1996-2000. He’s also worked in the high school ranks, leading Pensacola to a 62-17 overall record from 2004-06.
This will be his first time coaching a high school girls team, however.
“Coach Cochran comes to NSB with a distinguished coaching career and track record of leading championship programs on both the high school and college levels,” Fuller said in a statement. “We are honored to have him on board to lead our girls basketball program and look forward to the impact that his leadership will have on our players, school and great community.”
Cochran takes over for James Henry, who led the Barracudas to the postseason in five consecutive years. Henry accepted an assistant coaching position at Winston-Salem State, an NCAA Division II program in North Carolina.
Last year, NSB went 25-4 and reached the Region 2-6A semifinals. All five starters are expected to return, including first team All-Area guard Carmella Walker (19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 steals per game) and third-team guard Sha’Kawanza Brown (10.4 points, 5.8 assists per game).