The 12-hour drives from North Carolina to her hometown of New Orleans are now a thing of the past for Jamie Thomatis. She is returning home.

Thomatis, who spent the past five seasons as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Davidson College in North Carolina, was named basketball coach at Mount Carmel.

The chance to return to New Orleans was too good of an opportunity for her to pass up.

“I was the lone wolf in the family who migrated away,” Thomatis said. “So I’m glad to be back. To get back to my family and be with the people who have been instilled everything in me over the years is awesome. Couple that with a blooming program that Mount Carmel has developed and its rich academic backgrounds and it’s a perfect fit.”

Thomatis was a star forward at Ursuline Academy before going on to play at Middle Tennessee State.

After college, she spent three years as an assistant at Ursuline, two years as an assistant at Loyola University and the past five years at Davidson. She also coached the Kenner Angels, a local AAU team.

She will be Mount Carmel’s third coach in three seasons.

Thomatis replaces Kevin McGlathery, who coached the team last season after Panos Bountavinas’ abrupt resignation in October.

“We really liked her experience and her background,” Mount Carmel Athletic Director Joe Boudin. “Everyone we talked to thought she was a great coach and an even better person and was a good hire.”

Thomatis takes over a team that reached the Class 5A quarterfinals this past season under McGlathery after winning the school’s first state championship in 2014 under Bountavinas.

Thomatis watched the championship game on a regional broadcast in North Carolina.

“Having gone to Ursuline and Mount Carmel being in the city and one of the few all-girls Catholic schools made me very familiar with them,” Thomatis said. “I had several AAU teammates that played there.

“The past couple years they have really been successful as far as basketball goes.”

Thomatis, who graduated from Middle Tennessee State in 2003, finished her college career as the school’s second all-time leading scorer. She scored 1,971 points in her four seasons and was an All-Sun Belt selection in 2001 and 2002. She made the All-Ohio Valley Conference team in 2000 and was selected to the OVC All Freshman team in 1999.

As a junior, she averaged 21.3 points per game, 12th in Division I that season.

Thomatis hopes to bring that same success to Mount Carmel.

The Cubs finished 24-9 this past season, losing 90-87 to Destrehan, which happens to be Thomatis’ hometown. Mount Carmel beat Destrehan for the title in 2014.

She would like nothing more than to bring the school another title in the near future.

She hasn’t had a chance to meet with her players yet, but knows she has a good nucleus returning.

“We have some key components coming back this year, so I’m excited to get my foot in the door and leave my footprint,” she said.