A new coach, a new system, a new summer routine — it's a makeover that the Bullis School girls basketball players are all too familiar with, one that some have been through twice before. The girls are hoping that this staff, led by Hayley Hollis, is the one that can finally stabilize the program.
Hollis, 27, of Rockville, was hired in April to replace Clinton Perrow, becoming Bullis' fourth coach in as many years. Unlike her two predecessors, Hollis was hired full-time and will teach health in addition to leading the middle school program.
“Which is comforting to know,” said junior forward Lawrencia Moten, who has had three coaches at Bullis. “... It was fun to adjust but it definitely was an experience. It's something new and it's testing my character for sure.”
Hollis has held various coaching positions in Montgomery County, serving as associate head coach and director of operations at Sherwood under Chris Campbell last season and prior to that, working on the Academy of the Holy Cross staff.
“We're very excited to have her. She's high energy,” said Kathleen Lloyd, Bullis girls athletic director. “.... She's familiar with Bullis and she has experience with schools in the area.”
Lloyd said the school “decided to go in a different direction” with Perrow, who led Bullis to a 13-14 record in his one season. Before Perrow, the Bulldogs won an Independent School League AA title under Rod Hairston, who moved on to Prince George's County's St. Vincent Pallotti after a one-year stint. And before that, the Bulldogs were led by Kira Orr, who stepped down after five seasons and remains a middle school assistant principal.
Hollis, who played for Our Lady of Good Counsel, said she understands the challenges she faces as a new coach.
“Being another new coach, it's another new personality they have to get used to, it's another new system they need to learn, and also it's a whole [new] level of respect they have to get to,” Hollis said
But being present at the school, as a coach and a teacher, may ease the transition, she said.
“Not only seeing them in the gym but seeing them in the hallways and in the classroom, which hopefully will keep everybody on their toes,” she said.
Bullis graduated several key players, including Lynee Belton' (Duke), Kirby Porter (Harvard) and Ashley DeLeonibus (William & Mary), the top three scorers. The Bulldogs return several key players, including Moten and sophomore Victoria Crawford.
“Even though there has been some inconsistency in the coaching staff we're going to be prepared and we're going to be ready,” Crawford said.
“My main goal is to win the ISL,” Moten said. “That is what I plan on doing and what I hope my team can accomplish.”