Moving around from stop to stop is natural in the college coaching profession. Fortunately for Jack Corey, it didn’t take him too long to land right back where he played the game during his college career.
After starting out as a volunteer assistant for the Fighting Scots football program spanning from August of 2013 through the following July, Corey joined the Edinboro staff in late July of this summer as a part-time assistant offensive line and tight ends coach. “I was here in the spring and I helped out as a volunteer when I left Salisbury last season,” Corey said in his office last week. “I was still looking for jobs and looking for coaching opportunities. When coach [Vinny] Marino was here, he actually really helped out. He was a big part of pushing to get another position open. He liked what I did in the spring.”
Corey attributes both head coach Scott Browning and Marino for helping him return to his alma mater. “Obviously coach Browning, we’ve had a decent relationship since playing and it’s built after playing and coaching with him,” Corey said. “I think coach Marino was big in pushing it to Bruce [Baumgartner, Director of Athletics] in adding another staff member and coach Browning told me I was his first pick.”
Corey, who received his bachelor’s degree as a 2013 graduate in sports administration, took a job as an assistant coach at Salisbury University in Maryland for the 2014 football season before heading to Barrington, Massachusetts to serve as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach for East Coast Prep.
“Salisbury was a great opportunity,” Corey said. “That’s actually where coach [Wayne] Bradford played and started his coaching career and he helped me to make some connections there and get there. It was huge because I got to learn more of the coaching.”
Corey logged 20 appearances of ingame action for the Scots during a playing career that lasted from 2008-2012. He made one career start against the Indiana (Pa.) Crimson Hawks in the 2012 season. After playing on the Division II level, Corey can see clear differences between D-II and D-III.
“Every program has its own way of doing things,” Corey explained. “Being able to see things outside of Edinboro football and the way they do things, and just learn from different coaches and a different level. Division III, I mean the focus is on academics. That’s something I think I can help bring here and really put a value on education. I got a degree from here and [I want to] help these guys get a degree from here.”
Although there is familiarity with the program for Corey, the jump from volunteer coach to an assistant on the staff is new in terms of the nuances each week brings. The passing game is also an adjustment for the newest member of Browning’s staff.
“The time commitment has been a lot more and a little more input,” Corey said. “When I was a volunteer, I was a first year coach, so really the input on day-to-day and game planning and the personnel and things like that, I didn’t have a whole lot, because I didn’t have the experience to do that. The biggest change would be having more of an influence on that, being able to work with coach Browning, coach Wanson on that kind of stuff.”
Corey attributed his former mentors, including his former offensive coordinator Bryan Volk, with helping to mold the type of coach he wants to become in time. “I think a lot of my style and just the way I run drills and the things I want to do and I want to accomplish comes from Coach Browning,” Corey said. “That’s where I’ve learned it and that’s what I’ve done as a player.”
Having a love for the game from a young age, coaching was always in the plans for Corey after finishing his playing career. His first experience in the field is what helped him make the decision on what level to coach at.
“I’ve always had a passion for the game and I like to pass on knowledge,” Corey said. “Originally, I wanted to be a teacher and a high school coach. The opportunity to be here and learn that year in 2013 kind of showed me that I like the higher level and I want to be at the college level and coach college football.”
Mike Fenner is a staff writer for The Spectator.