Boyle Adds Four Members to Cavaliers? Women's Basketball Staff
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Kim Hairston, Cory McNeill and Katie O’Connor have been named assistant coaches and Sarah Holsinger has been named the director of operations with the Virginia women’s basketball program. UVa head women’s basketball coach Joanne Boyle announced the appointments on Wednesday, May 11.
“It was important for me to put together a talented staff that is passionate and experienced in recruiting and skill development,” Boyle said. “Kim, Cory, Katie and Sarah are a group of rising stars in the profession who have helped build incredibly successful programs. They are all a great fit for the University of Virginia and I know they will work hard to drive the vision I have for the program. I’m excited and proud to bring this group together and we are looking forward to continuing to elevate the great tradition of Virginia women’s basketball.”
Hairston is a native of Bassett, Va., and has been a member of Boyle’s staffs at Richmond, California and now UVa. Most recently, Hairston was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia from 2007-11. During that period the Lady Bulldogs participated in four-consecutive NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in both 2010 and 2011.
On the recruiting trail, Hairston helped Georgia ink 2008 and 2009 recruiting classes that were ranked among the nation’s top five.
“Kim was with me at both Richmond and Cal and helped me elevate both programs to national prominence,” Boyle said. “She is a proven star in the recruiting world having signed high level talent in the best conferences. She is a very gifted, passionate and genuine coach who has great energy on the court. Kim is truly invested in both our current players and those she recruits.”
Hairston was selected to attend Nike’s Villa 7 Coaches Consortium for three-consecutive years (2009-11) and the Achieving Coaching Excellence (ACE) Program in 2003. Prior to serving as an assistant at Georgia, Hairston spent two seasons on Boyle’s staff at California (2005-07). The Golden Bears earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and compiled a 41-21 record in those two seasons.
Hairston was also a member of Boyle’s staff at Richmond, her alma mater. In 2005 the 23-8 Spiders received their first NCAA berth in 14 seasons. Prior to her time at Richmond, Hairston worked three seasons (2000-01 and 2002-04) at James Madison, including the Dukes’ run to the 2001 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) semifinals. In between her time at JMU, Hairston was an assistant coach at Howard University.
The 1996 Big South Rookie of the Year while playing at Radford, Hairston transferred to Richmond where she was a three-year letterwinner and co-captain. In 2000 she was named to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) All-Defensive team.
Hairston received her bachelor’s degree in sport science from Richmond in 2000.
McNeill, a native of Baltimore, Md., comes to UVa after spending four seasons at Georgetown University (2007-11). During that time period, the Hoyas continued one of the nation’s most impressive turnarounds, earning back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths (2010 and 2011) for the first time in program history.
McNeill served as Georgetown’s defensive coordinator all four of his seasons, helping the Hoyas become one of the nation’s leaders in forced turnovers and defensive field goal percentage.
In 2011, the Hoyas advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second time in school history. Georgetown had the 2009 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and five All-BIG EAST conference selections during McNeill’s tenure.
McNeill helped the Hoyas ink a national top-10 recruiting class in 2008.
“Cory played a large role in developing what is an extremely successful Georgetown program,” Boyle said. “He has a true love for the game and is a very engaging teacher. His strengths are court workouts and skill development. Cory will challenge our players and make them better everyday.”
McNeill was selected to attend Nike’s Villa 7 Coaches Consortium in 2010 and 2011 as well as the ACE program in 2009.
Prior to his time at Georgetown, McNeill spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Coppin State (2002-07). During McNeill’s tenure, Coppin State earned two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships, three regular-season MEAC Championships, two NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT appearance.
While at Coppin State, McNeill was the offensive coordinator and the MEAC Player of the Year came from an Eagles’ squad for four-consecutive years.
McNeill played collegiate basketball at Morgan State and received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002. He earned his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore in 2005.
O’Connor, a native of Chapel Hill, N.C., has spent the last seven seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas (2004-11). During that span, Kansas participated in postseason play five times, including a run to the 2009 WNIT title game. O’Connor also helped the Jayhawks to their first national ranking in a decade in 2009-10, as Kansas appeared in the Associated Press poll for nine-consecutive weeks to open that season and eventually was ranked as high as No. 18.
Prior to her time at Kansas, O’Connor was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, her alma mater, for three seasons (2001-04).
“Katie has a great basketball mind and is a tireless worker,” Boyle said. “She’s worked the recruiting trail heavily at both Kansas and Virginia Tech and brings a wealth of experience with her. She has a talent for the x’s and o’s part of our game and comes from a basketball family. She will get the most out of our kids on the floor.”
O’Connor’s father, Kevin, is the General Manager of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. O’Connor, one of the longest-tenured GMs in the league, also spent time as the Director of Player Personnel for the Philadelphia 76ers as well as being a scout for other various NBA teams.
Before becoming a full-time assistant coach with the Hokies, O’Connor spent two years as an administrative assistant at Virginia Tech.
The Hokies won 20 or more games in each of O’Connor’s seasons in the program and reached the NCAA Tournament five times.
O’Connor was a four-year starter for the Hokies from 1995-99. She helped lead Tech to the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament title in 1998, an A-10 regular-season title in 1999 and two NCAA Tournament appearances. During O’Connor’s senior season, the Hokies posted a 28-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. That year, O’Connor earned the A-10’s Most Improved Player Award.
O’Connor graduated from Virginia Tech in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.
Holsinger joins Boyle’s staff as the director of operations after serving in the same capacity at California for six seasons. Originally from Luray, Va., Holsinger spent two seasons (2004-06) as James Madison’s director of operations before making the move to the Pac-10 Conference.
“Sarah, like Kim, played an integral part of building a very successful program at Cal,” Boyle said. “She is always three steps ahead of me and operates just like an assistant coach in terms of relationships with the kids. Sarah tells me that her job is to make my job easier and she does a great job of doing that on a daily basis. Sarah is one of the best administrators I’ve worked with.”
Holsinger played basketball and lacrosse at Bridgewater College and was a member of the Eagles’ 1999 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship basketball team. Following graduation, she was head junior varsity girls’ basketball coach at Eastern Mennonite High School in Virginia for the 2002-03 season.
Holsinger earned her bachelor’s of science degrees in allied health science and nutrition and wellness from Bridgewater College in 2002. She obtained a master’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sports administration and coaching from JMU in May 2004.