Flannery selected as new Olentangy Liberty coach
When asked to help find a field hockey coach, Olentangy Liberty High School boys basketball coach Greg Nossaman was the first to admit he doesn't know much about the sport.
Fortunately for Nossaman, he came across a strong candidate during the interview process in former Wittenberg University coach Marianne Flannery.
Flannery will replace Jen Martin as coach, pending school board approval in August. Martin stepped down after three seasons.
Nossaman was asked to help interview candidates for the position because, at the time, the school did not have an athletics director. Darin Meeker was approved as AD by the school board on June 20.
"She was one of the last people we interviewed and I think we hit a home run with her," Nossaman said of Flannery. "She's already living in our community and she has a lot of energy. She excelled in both high school and college as a player and did well as a college coach, so we feel very fortunate to land someone with this kind of experience."
Flannery is eager to get back into coaching after spending the past eight years working in corporate sales of advanced technology. She resigned from that job in April to spend more time raising her sons, who are five months and 2 years old.
After earning a physical education degree in the summer of 1999 and earning a master's degree in athletic administration in the fall of 2000, Flannery coached field hockey at Wittenberg for four seasons from 2000-03.
During her tenure at Wittenberg, she compiled a 58-21 overall record and a 39-9 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Her team won league titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2003.
Flannery was NCAC Coach of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and was the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year and a National Coach of the Year finalist each of those three seasons.
She also was a successful field hockey player at Lancaster High School, earning all-state honors and leading her team in scoring as a senior in 1994. She went on to play at Ohio University, where she became a team captain and All-American as a senior in 1998. She was first-team all-Mid-American Conference as a junior and senior.
"I'm looking forward to getting back into coaching and, possibly, teaching," Flannery said. "I've already met with our players and their parents, and I'm very excited to be back on the field again.
"Olentangy Liberty used to come to camps I ran when I was coaching at Wittenberg, and in 2004 and 2005, I did some private coaching with Olentangy Liberty in the offseason, so I'm already familiar with the program. I live very close to the school, too, so this is a good fit for me."
Martin compiled a 30-23 overall record during her tenure at Liberty. Last season, the Patriots finished 10-8 overall, placed eighth in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League at 6-5 and beat Columbus School for Girls 3-0 in their district tournament opener before losing to Watterson 3-1 in a semifinal.
"This team has been in the upper half of the middle tier in the past, so we want to work to improve on that," Flannery said. "We have the personnel to be competitive immediately and we want to be more competitive in the short term. And we want to become competitive with the top-tier teams in the state in the next two or three years."