After a season that saw only six wins and 15 losses under coach Collin Springer and a nearly 12-week coaching search, Cannon has a new varsity volleyball coach.
Ashley Yocum, a graduate of Malone College in Canton, Ohio, comes to Cannon with a wealth of experience both in coaching and playing volleyball.
Yocum discovered very early a love for the game from her mother, who was also a volleyball coach.
"I started playing when I was in sixth grade and just never stopped," said Yocum.
She starred excelling in volleyball at Jonathan Alder High, where she earned All-Ohio first-team and All-District first-team honors in 2002, her senior year. Yocum also played basketball and ran track while at the school.
At Malone College, she continued to get better on the volleyball court. During her four years at Malone, Yocum received many honors including being named to the All-America Mideast Conference Freshman Team in 2003.
She was named team captain in 2005 and 2006 and also was the National Player of the Week and the Wendy's Athlete of the Week in 2006, her senior year.
After graduation, Yocum became head coach of the Kaepa Buckeye Volleyball Club in Columbus, Ohio, where she coached multiple Junior Olympic teams.
Yocum left Kaepa for Wright State University where she served as the assistant coach during the2008 season.
Yocum arrived in Charlotte last June with no intentions to coach, but that quickly changed.
"When I found Carolina Courts I found happiness in volleyball," she said about the Indian Trail training facility.
Doug Maynard, the athletic director at Cannon, said the coaching search took so long because of the type of coach they were looking for.
"We wanted to find a coach with the right qualities to build a total program, and we feel Ashley has that," said Maynard. "Ashley's passion for the game will bring a lot of excitement to our program."
The Cannon Cougars expect big things from Yocum and she certainly isn't backing away from the challenge.
"My goal is to get back to basics and have a winning season next year," said Yocum. "Long term I want to win championships and for Cannon to be known as a powerhouse. I feel like there is a lot of untouched potential to make that happen."
But she knows her players will have to be self-disciplined to achieve these goals.
"You have to be self-motivated to succeed in anything," said Yocum.