That Time of the Year -- Coaches
Blue Hose Name Handshoe Women's Lacrosse Head Coach; update - Athletic Honors
Presbyterian College and Athletic Director Danny Sterling has announced the addition of Jenna Handshoe as the new women’s lacrosse head coach. She started in August, becoming the fifth head coach in PC’s women’s lacrosse history.
“We feel very fortunate to have one of our own returning to lead the women’s lacrosse program,” said Sterling. “Jenna (Handshoe) brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will help make our program successful on and off the field.”
Handshoe returns to PC after spending the last five years at Tusculum University where she was the program’s first head coach. The 2015 South Atlantic Coach of the Year, Handshoe led the Pioneers to a 32-34 record during her tenure. She also saw her team make the SAC Tournament and earn IWLCA All-Academic team honors all four seasons.
“I am thrilled to be returning to PC as the women’s lacrosse coach,” said Handshoe. “Thank you to President Staton and Danny (Sterling) for allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to helping the program continue to grow, develop and compete within the Big South Conference and Division I.”
In their inaugural season, Handshoe coached the Pioneers to an overall record of 10-5 and a conference record of 5-3 to secure a third place finish in the SAC. She was named the SAC Coach of the Year and saw her offense ranked 23rd in the nation with 13.67 goals per game. Tusculum boasted four All-SAC honorees that season, and Handshoe had four players named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. In 2016, Tusculum won a program-record 11 games and advanced to the SAC Tournament semifinal for the first time in program history. That team boasted two All-Conference picks, one All-Tournament team selection and a CoSIDA Academic All-District first team recipient.
Then in 2017, the Pioneers went 5-12 against an extremely tough schedule that included four matches against nationally-ranked teams, two of which were ranked in the top-10. Tusculum battled to earn a spot in the SAC Tournament for the third consecutive year, saw three players earn All-SAC recognition and had four players earn IWLCA Academic Honor Roll honors.
In 2018, the Pioneers again challenged themselves with a grueling non-conference schedule, facing three nationally ranked teams. The team won a program-record four consecutive SAC games and earned a spot in the conference tournament for the fourth time. Handshoe had two players named to All-SAC teams.
Prior to her time at Tusculum, Handshoe was the head coach at Tennessee Wesleyan College for two seasons. During her time with the Bulldogs, Handshoe posted a 17-18 record and led TWC to the National Women's Lacrosse League tournament twice, where they finished fifth and fourth.
While at Tennessee Wesleyan, Handshoe served on the National Women's Lacrosse League Membership committee and was the Appalachian Athletic Conference chair for the Coaches committee.
Handshoe started her coaching career as a volunteer coach at Presbyterian College in 2011.
Prior to that, Handshoe was a four-year starter at PC from 2007-2010. She earned second-team All-National Lacrosse Conference honors in 2010 and was an All-Tournament Team selection in 2009. Handshoe led PC in scoring her junior and senior seasons. In 2010, the Greenville, SC, native led the team in points (49), goals (36), free position goals (8), shots (70), and shots on goal (60). Her junior year, she paced the team with 28 goals and 20 assists for 48 points. During the shortened 2008 season, Handshoe scored 15 goals over four games. In 2007, she was nationally ranked in NCAA Division II for ground balls and caused turnovers. Her freshman year, Handshoe also was a member of the PC women's basketball team.
In the summer of 2007, Handshoe played with USA Athletes International in Prague, Czech Republic, in the Prague Cup International Lacrosse Tournament where she helped the team finish second overall.
Handshoe was a key player for J.L. Mann High School during her prep years and led the Patriots to the 2006 SCHSL State Championship. She was named the Tournament MVP and the South Carolina Defensive Player of the Year.
Handshoe graduated from PC in May of 2010 with a bachelor's degree in history and minors in physical education and athletic coaching. She then graduated with honors from Tusculum in 2016 with a master's degree in education and a concentration in human resource development. Handshoe is currently enrolled the doctorate of business administration program with a concentration in sports management at Lincoln Memorial University where she has one year left of classes before focusing on her dissertation.
Pollock Adds Miller, O'Neil to PC Baseball Staff
Presbyterian College head baseball coach Elton Pollock has announced the additions of assistant coach Blake Miller and volunteer assistant coach John O’Neill to the program’s coaching staff.
"Blake Miller and John O'Neil will have an immediate and positive impact on our baseball program," Pollock said. "Miller will take over as our pitching coach and assist with recruiting, while O'Neil will take over with as our infield coach and assist with our hitters. Each brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from prior coaching stints at the Division I level. I am extremely excited to have them joining our staff."
Miller comes to PC from Inspiration Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he was the post-graduate program’s head coach and director of player development since August 2017. While there, Miller oversaw all aspects of running the program including player development, recruiting, budgeting and games.
Prior to his time at Inspiration Academy, Miller spent four seasons as the pitching coach at the United States Air Force Academy. In his tenure with the Falcons, he helped elevate their pitching staff to new heights and several new school records. The bullpen collected a program-record 381 strikeouts in 2015 and then 385 strikeouts in 2016. The team posted a program-best 4.54 ERA in 2015, its lowest since 1979. That season, the pitching staff also held opposing batters to a .265 average, the lowest since 1974. Miller helped the program improve its win total from 16 in 2013 to 30 in 2016.
Miller saw three of his players drafted during his time at the Air Force Academy. Senior closer Ben Yokley struck out 45 batters in 34.0 innings in 2015 and was a 29th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. Yokley went on to pitch for the Johnson City Cardinals, in the Appalachian League (Class A), during the summer of 2015. Then in 2016, juniors Griffin Jax and Jacob DeVries were both drafted. Jax was coming off a 9-2 season where he posted a school-record 2.05 ERA and was a third round selection (93rd overall) of the Minnesota Twins. The Cleveland Indians took DeVries in the 38th round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Players Draft.
Prior to his time with the Air Force, Miller spent two years as the pitching coach at Savannah State. He was a part of the program’s historic 2013 season that included winning the school’s first MEAC Championship and NCAA Regional bid. Along with defeating two top-25 teams that season, the Tigers improved their win total from 19 wins in 2012 to 33 wins in 2013 and lowered their team ERA from 6.15 to 4.93.
During the 2013 season, pitcher Kyle McGowin, under the tutelage of Miller, established himself as one of the best pitchers in the nation. McGowin posted a 12-2 record with a 2.02 ERA. He led the MEAC and ranked third nationally with 135 strikeouts that season. McGowin became the first pitcher in school history to be named a Division I First Team All-American (NCBWA) and win the MEAC Pitcher of the Year award. He was a top-10 finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year award and top-30 finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. Following his junior season, McGowin became Savannah State’s first pitcher to be drafted. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected him in the fifth round (157th overall) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Players Draft.
In addition to McGowin’s success, Miller had two pitchers named to the MEAC All-Conference Team and saw five members of his pitching staff earn MEAC Conference pitcher-of-the-week honors. In addition, pitcher Rex Davis was named MEAC Freshmen of the Year in 2012.
Prior to coaching at Savannah State, Miller was the pitching coach at Emerald High School in Greenwood, 2008-10.
While at Emerald, the pitching staff set school records for team ERA in 2009 and again in 2010. Two of Miller’s pitchers were named to the All-Region Team and three players went on to pitch at the collegiate level.
Miller holds a bachelors degree in history from Coker College. He graduated in 2007 after playing four years of baseball for the Cobras. A relief pitcher, Miller’s career record was 6-2 and during the 2005 season he set the previous school record for most appearances in a season with 28. Miller’s coaching career began at Coker when he was a student assistant during the 2007 season.
O’Neil comes to PC from the University of Tennessee at Martin where he spent one season as an assistant coach. He worked with all infield positions, base runners, assisted with team offense and coached third base while also overseeing team travel, field maintenance and scouting reports.
Prior to his time with the Skyhawks, O’Neil previously served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a member of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, where he was responsible for managing all recruiting efforts and overseeing team offense and infielders during the 2017 season.
He served as the Hawks’ interim head coach from January 2015 through August 2016, leading the program to their most non-conference wins (nine) in 2016 and most conference wins (14) in 2015. Under his guidance, the program also saw its most wins over a two-year span (32) in over two decades. Not just focused on the field, the Hawks earned consecutive Male Team Scholar Awards for having the department’s highest team GPA and saw 25 MEAC All-Academic honorees. O’Neil also oversaw the program’s improved fundraising campaigns, playing facility, player equipment and community service involvement.
O’Neil served as an assistant coach at Maryland Eastern Shore from August 2011 until he assumed the role of interim coach. In 2012, he assisted the Hawks to the most conference wins in program history and a third place finish in the MEAC Tournament.
During the summer of 2011, O’Neil coached the Middlesex Rays of the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League. He oversaw the expansion team during their first season with the collegiate wooden bat league.
During the 2010-11 baseball season, O’Neil served as the top assistant at the University of the Sciences, which is located in Philadelphia, Pa. He helped guide the NCAA Division-II team to its most conference wins, first conference tournament appearance, first conference tournament win, two First Team All-CACC players, a First Team All-Region infielder and two All-Academic honorees.
From 2008-10, O’Neil was the lead assistant at Colby-Sawyer College, a NCAA Division-III program located in New London, NH. He assisted the team to a conference tournament appearance while coaching three All-CCC players, an All-Region selection and two All-Academic honorees.
O’Neil played collegiately at Colby-Sawyers College from 2004-08, serving as the team’s starting catcher and designated hitter. At the prep level, he received state awards as an infielder at Burrillville High School in Rhode Island. O’Neil graduated in 2008 with a bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a focus on Sport Management. In 2010, he completed his masters in Sport and Recreation Management with a focus in Coaching from New England College.