Lexington School District One officially announced the selection of Jason Cochcroft as varsity boys basketball coach at White Knoll on Monday.
Cochcroft replaces Bret Jones, who stepped down in May. Jones was the only boys basketball coach in the history of the school until his resignation for personal reasons. This will be the first head coaching experience for Cochcroft on the varsity level.
“I'm trying to build on the momentum that coach Jones built,” Cochcroft said. “If you would have asked me a year ago if I would be in this position, I probably would have told you absolutely not. But the day after coach Jones resigned, I was with the team at 6 a.m. workouts and realized the bond and closeness we've built. I talked to my wife about it and decided this is something I wanted to pursue, and things worked out.”
Cochcroft is very familiar with the Timberwolves program. He was previously the head coach of the junior varsity squad and as an assistant to Jones. Given the late resignation of Jones, that probably played a factor in the decision to hire Cochcroft.
“We interviewed the guys we thought would be a good fit,” White Knoll athletics director Dean Howell said. “We're close to the situation and know the pulse of the program. We feel this is what is best for the program. We have a comfort level with Jason and I know the kids have a comfort level with him. Hopefully, he'll bring a newness and freshness to the program and I think it's the best for everybody involved.”
Cochcroft starred at Lexington High under longtime coach Bailey Harris before becoming a four-year letterman and senior captain on the men's basketball team at Presbyterian College.
After graduating college, Cochcroft helped Harris as a volunteer before joining the staff as a full-time assistant for two years. He then left teaching and went into private business before being coaxed back into the coaching fold by Jones.
“I was able to learn from coach Harris and coach Jones, so I feel I had two pretty good teachers,” Cochcroft said. “We're not really going to change anything we were doing. Bret built a great foundation, and we're going to take those same principles and try to let this senior class grow and develop into great leaders and players.
White Knoll will have the wealth of experience returning next season. Emarius Logan will be one of the Top 10 senior players in the state, and he will be joined by Najee Garvin, a player that has seen his stock increase with a solid spring and summer on the AAU circuit.
“The talent is certainly there for us to be successful,” Cochcroft said.
Cochcroft will not teach at the school. He is an insurance agent with Farm Bureau in Lexington and plans to continue in that position.