Vandy shuffles staff
Corey Sullivan will not be the Vandebilt Catholic High School baseball coach when the team begins its 2016 season.
The Houma-based private school announced last week that Sullivan had resigned from his post, which he had occupied for the past three and a half seasons.
Sullivan confirmed his resignation, saying he’d decided after consulting with his family that it was time to move on.
The veteran coach has been with the school for nine seasons, serving as an assistant football coach throughout his tenure and as baseball coach since midway through 2012.
The Terriers reached the Class 4A State Playoffs in every season of Sullivan’s tenure, including in 2015 when Vandebilt overcame a slow start to earn the District 7-4A Championship. In 2014, the Terriers enjoyed Sullivan’s deepest run as coach, reaching the Class 4A State Quarterfinals.
Sullivan said he’s proud of the accomplishments the team made under his watch, touting that he ran a successful program on and off the field.
He said he’s looking into other coaching vacancies and teaching jobs within the area.
“I’m happy with the things we’ve done. I have absolutely no doubt that we ran a clean program the whole time that I was there,” Sullivan said. “I’m grateful for some of the relationships and friendships I’ve made throughout my time here.”
For Sullivan, a lot of the focus of his tenure was centered toward honoring the past and showing respect for the tradition and legacy of Vandebilt Catholic baseball.
The coach said he took pride in a reunion his club organized for the Terriers’ state championship baseball team in 2014 – an event that brought some of the school’s legendary players of the past together for an afternoon that Sullivan said he’d never forget.
The coach also talked about other things the program did to teach players there is life away from the diamond.
“The reunion was amazing. I think that’s something that everyone ended up being proud of, and it was a great way for our program to give back to our community,” Sullivan said. “We did a lot of things. We brought back Coach (Calvin) Buxton and we honored him for all that he’d done for the program. We also partnered and did some work with TARC and did other things to show the kids that there’s more to life than baseball and that some things may seem important, but may not be as important we think when you look at the big picture of life.
“I think my guys would tell you that I was fair to them. I think my guys would tell you that they liked fighting for me and our club. If they didn’t, I don’t think we’d have come back from as bad of a start as we had this year to still win the district championship like we did. There were some strong bonds that were made back there on that baseball field.”
In the Vandebilt-issued release, the school said it is accepting applications for a new head baseball coach. It also touched on Sullivan’s years with the team.
“He has chosen not to sign an employment contract with Vandebilt Catholic for next school year,” the release reads. “The Vandebilt community thanks Mr. Sullivan for his years of dedicated service and wishes him well in his future endeavors.”
OTHER VCHS MOVES
Sullivan’s resignation is just another thing on the to-do list of Terriers’ Athletic Director Margaret Johnson, who has been busy collecting resumes and hiring coaches in recent weeks.
The Terriers announced that it has filled three head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, hiring Drew Robison to coach boy’s basketball, Jerwaski Coleman to coach girl’s basketball and Greg Castillo to coach volleyball.
The incoming trio will replace outgoing head coaches Michael Toups (boy’s basketball), Kiely Schork (girl’s basketball) and Samantha Schexnayder (volleyball) – all of whom resigned from their respective posts following the completion of their seasons.
Of the three incoming coaches, only Coleman has roots in the area. A Houma native and Vandebilt alum, Coleman has been with his alma mater for the past few years, serving as an assistant football coach and assistant coach for both the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams.
Before taking a teaching position at Vandebilt, Coleman was a highly successful girl’s basketball coach at Houma Junior High, which parlayed into prep success during a brief stint as the women’s basketball coach at Terrebonne.
Coleman said he’s grateful for the chance to be a head coach at his alma mater – something he’s looked forward to since getting into coaching.
The Lady Terriers made the playoffs last season under Schork, but were 13-14 on the year.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity, man, and I can’t wait to get started,” Coleman said. “We have a lot of work to do to get ready, but we’re committed to building our program.”
While Coleman enters the program with a good idea of his roster and the school’s traditions, both Robison and Castillo will have a little work to do to catch up.
Robison lands at Vandebilt after a decorated coaching career as athletic director, head football coach, head boy’s basketball coach and teacher at Franklin Christian Academy in Tennessee.
During his tenure, Robison’s teams competed in six championship games in the past three seasons.
In a news release issued by Vandebilt, Robison said a successful program in his eyes is one that “includes players who learn life lessons and develop into better people as a result of having been part of his team.”
Like Robison, Castillo also arrives in Houma with experience building winning teams. The veteran coach has 25 years experience as a volleyball coach, which includes stops at junior high, prep and the collegiate ranks.
Prior to accepting the Vandebilt job, Castillo was the coach at Cabrini High School in New Orleans, where he routinely took his team to the state playoffs.
With these vacancies filled, the Terriers now just need a baseball and softball coach.