Bloomfield Hills Marian’s volleyball team won back-to-back Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I State Championships after being ranked No. 2 nationally.

Bloomfield Hills Marian’s volleyball team won back-to-back Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I State Championships after being ranked No. 2 nationally.

Photo provided by Mike Watson


‘It’s a dynasty program’: Bloomfield Hills Marian exceeds expectations

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 9, 2022

 Along with multiple sports in Marian’s program, Marian’s basketball team won the Catholic High School League in the Bishop Division this year.

Along with multiple sports in Marian’s program, Marian’s basketball team won the Catholic High School League in the Bishop Division this year.

Photo provided by Mike Watson

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — State titles, academic achievements, and elite-level coaching are just a few things to expect when Bloomfield Hills Marian is brought up in conversation.

If a refresher was needed, Marian’s athletic and academic program exceeded expectations once more in 2022.

“I think from the inside and what people would view from the outside is that Marian is a high-achieving school,” Marian athletic director Mike Watson said. “I think the culture that people have come to expect here is the excellence in not only academics, but also in our athletics and our extracurricular as well.”

Watson, who will enter his second year as Marian’s athletic director, previously served as the athletic director at Warren De La Salle from 2016-2020.

Marian’s previous athletic director, David Feldman, passed away in January of 2021 at the age of 65 after 17 years with the school.

Feldman left a solidified legacy with the school, and the school continues to honor him by sustaining the culture that Feldman built.

“One of our mottos is developing strong women of the future,” Marian varsity volleyball coach Mayssa Cook said. “There’s just a high standard at Marian all around; there’s just a discipline and a standard that is awesome all around.”

Cook’s volleyball squad has won back-to-back Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I State Championships after defending its championship reign against Ann Arbor Skyline last year.

Marian was ranked No. 2 nationally in volleyball with Cook earning 2021-2022 National High School Coach of the Year honors by Volleyball Magazine.

Marian athletics also reached the MHSAA state finals in soccer, and swim and dive, while basketball, skiing, pompom, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse all won the Catholic High School League Championship.

“You know there’s a tradition of winning across all the sports,” Cook said. “As an incoming freshman or athlete attending Marian, the reputation precedes itself.”

Marian’s varsity girls basketball coach Mary Cicerone, who retired after the end of this season, is at the forefront of that tradition. While winning six state championships, Cicerone retires as the winningest female basketball coach in Michigan history with 707 wins.

“We think she’s established herself as kind of the cornerstone of our athletics around here; our basketball was one of the first to earn state prominence, and Mary was behind that,” Watson said. “Not only has she been a shining example of what to be as a coach in basketball, but how to be a woman as well.”

Marian tennis has also followed suit, winning three Division III state championships since 2010.

Olivia Underwood, who graduated from Marian in 2013, took over as head coach for the tennis program in 2021.

Underwood was a part of the 2010 and 2013 Marian tennis teams that won the MHSAA Division II State Championship, and led her team as head coach this season to a fourth-place finish at the MHSAA state finals.

While establishing their own legacy at Marian, Underwood said her team is aware of the standards placed on them.

“They know what the girls in the past have done and accomplished, and they want to leave that legacy,” Underwood said.

Continuing its success in the classroom, Marian student athletes carry a 3.867 grade-point average while having an athletic participation rate of 71%. Marian holds just under 400 students in the school.

“We see the confidence in the kids themselves growing as they become strong young women,” Watson said.