Terry Cochran buys in bulk. Food is bought by the shopping cart, clothes by the pound. When you have five boys running around your house, there’s never a dull moment, enough space in the car or enough time in your day to spread yourself around.
Cochran has found a way to spend some extra time with his family. Even if it means being on the job. Last week, Cochran was named the new athletics director at Vianney. He’ll officially join the Golden Griffins in his new role on July 1. Until then, he’ll continue to serve in his current role as president of John F. Kennedy.
Cochran, 50, is returning to a place he knows all too well. He served as the director of admissions at Vianney until last year when he accepted the president’s position at John F. Kennedy. He also was heavily involved in the athletic program as he was an assistant varsity basketball and baseball coach for the Golden Griffins. When the opportunity to return to Vianney was presented, Cochran couldn’t pass it up. “I didn’t (think I’d be back so soon),” Cochran says. “When I went to Kennedy, I didn’t set a time table for myself. This opportunity just came up.”
You’d think it’s an opportunity for the Cochran family to carpool to school. Cochran will be the athletics director; his wife, Janet, handles student accounts; and they currently have one son enrolled, Tanner, but will soon have another. If all goes according to plan, all five of the Cochran boys will have walked Vianney’s halls and graduated as Golden Griffins. Maybe he should get a bulk discount on tuition?
Cochran’s middle son, Tony, will graduate this spring and just wrapped up a stellar career on the basketball team. He walked off the court for the final time as Vianney’s all-time scoring leader and one of its sharpest shooters. Another son, Ty, served as a varsity basketball assistant this winter, too.
A Hancock graduate, Cochran made his coaching bones on the south side of St. Louis County. He served as the head baseball coach at Mehlville from 1990-96 and was the head basketball coach at Oakville from 1996-2003. He says the experiences he had as a head coach will help him make the transition to athletics director. “Those athletic directors (at Mehlville and Oakville) let me do my own scheduling,” Cochran says. “I was able to have my own say there. I learned a lot.”
His administrative experience at Vianney and then John F. Kennedy also will come into play as he juggles the budgets and mountain of other paperwork that come with his new position.
Cochran says he wasn’t looking to make a move but the chance to be around his family while on the job was a fringe benefit that was hard to pass up. “Some people ask, How can you work with your wife?” Cochran says. “We missed it. We missed being together. Throughout the day, I can walk down to her office or she can walk over to mine.”
His new job will eat into a large chunk of his time but no more so than his current job at John F. Kennedy. Cochran says there is always something to do or some place to be when you’re the president. “As the president, there are meetings with donors and parents,” Cochran says. “There was always something to go to.”