In 1991 she began coaching softball at Holy Trinity High in Hicksville, where she created a dynasty that would win 10 league titles with a 285-87 record. In '97 Cassidy began double-dipping, also coaching volleyball at Division II C.W. Post in Brookville, Long Island. This June, Cassidy left Holy Trinity to run the softball program at Molloy. She's paid $11,000 by each college.
After clocking out in Brooklyn at 3:30 p.m. Cassidy hops in her car and makes the drive to Brookville for C.W. Post's game against Mercy College. In bad traffic this journey can take up to two hours, but on this day Cassidy makes it in 45 minutes. "Thank God for the Jewish holidays," she says. At five she meets a visiting recruit and her parents. ( C.W. Post gives her only 4.1 scholarships even though the D-II maximum is eight.)
When the 7 p.m. match begins, only three dozen spectators are on hand, but Cassidy watches with the intensity that might be expected from someone whose heroes are Pete Rose and Pat Riley. Her Pioneers lose a heartbreaker, falling 16-14 in the fifth set. For Cassidy there is no time to stew. The match ends at 8:50, and five minutes later she's back in her car, heading for the take-out lane at Wendy's. "I have very bad eating habits, because I always have to eat in the car," she says. "I should be, like, 900 pounds."
At 9:30 Cassidy screeches into the Molloy parking lot for softball practice in the gym. Soon she is hectoring her players mercilessly. Any drill not done with precision is repeated. And repeated. "I'm a perfectionist to a fault," she says. "I will drill these kids until they get it right." Unhappy with what she sees from the heavy-lidded students, Cassidy orders them to run two miles.
When practice ends, at 11:30, Cassidy finally heads for home. She greets her hubby, John Lyke, a retired police lieutenant, a little after midnight. After half an hour of chitchat she conks out. "Four hours of sleep are pretty good for me," Cassidy says, but she won't even get that. Her alarm will go off, as usual, at 4:15 a.m.