Friday, July 12, 2013

A chat with the Lady Monarchs' newest assistant, Jim Corrigan

It's official -- Jim Corrigan remains a Monarch. The former Old Dominion men's head coach is Karen Barefoot's newest assistant, replacing Amaka Agugua, who left for Michigan State last month. LadySwish caught up with Corrigan, who is thrilled about the opportunity to work alongside Barefoot, Trina Patterson and Richard Fortune. Corrigan, who starts his new job on Aug. 10, will now take a left turn instead of a right one in ODU's Athletic Administration building, but otherwise, he already feels comfortable in a place he's called home since 1994.

How did the opportunity with the Lady Monarchs come to be?

They contacted me. I wasn't even aware there was a position open once Trina was hired. They reached out to me, and it makes so much sense for so many reasons. It's a different challenge. They're on their way up, and it's going to be fun to be a part of that and contribute to that.

You've known Karen a while?

Since she was an assistant here. Then when she went to Elon, the athletic director at Elon is a friend of mine who I went to college with. So we stayed in contact through that, and then she came back.

What was your plan before Karen talked with you about the opening?

I was still in a mode where I wanted to be in coaching, but there were fewer jobs out there. It was getting to a point where I got a little bit nervous!

Talk about coaching women for (almost) the first time. (Corrigan coached a youth recreational team that was co-ed many years ago.)

I think the game is the game; you're teaching the same skills, the same mental stuff. I don't think there's a dramatic difference. The size of players might be different, but really, it's the same game. The same skills are important: the ability to dribble, pass and shoot and the ability to think and anticipate, rebound. All those things are the same things that matter in the men's game and the women's game.

Can you talk about transitioning back to an assistant coach after being a head coach?

With the exception of the last eight games last year, I was an assistant coach for the 26 years prior to that. The experience of those games being a head coach will make me a better assistant coach for Karen.

What are you looking most forward to with this ODU team?

I think there's a lot of potential to be a really good team. Just looking at the statistics from last year, they got outrebounded by about five a game, and that's a big issue Karen did a great job of addressing in recruiting and bringing in some kids who have some very impressive numbers. Being a part of helping this team get better in any kind of way is what I'm excited about. That's what I'm looking forward to.

Did your daughter (Keenan, a Duke grad) play basketball?

She played in high school at Western Branch for three years for Kim Aston (ODU alum). She never intended to play in college. She stopped playing after her junior year.

How exciting is it for you to remain part of ODU?

For so many reasons, its' a great situation. Not having to move, I have a son who is going to be a senior in high school. It's really nice and it's nice people are speaking up on Twitter. I truly appreciate all the comments.

Have you ever met anyone as enthusiastic and positive as Karen?

Never! And it's genuine and it's contagious, and I'm looking forward to being around it every day.


  1. I think I speak for a lot of Lady Monarch fans to say we're glad to have Coach Corrigan stay at ODU. He's a class act and a great Coach.

  2. Hey I understand Ladyswish are big ODU fans, but can we please get an article about another team or a larger issue in the sport every once in a while? It's depressing to come on this site hoping for like a season preview article or an offseason tracker for like George Mason or Radford, and instead having articles on stuff like what Karen Barefoot thinks about tv shows, or what [Insert ODU player here] thinks about shopping. I mean no offense, but please hear out what I and i'm sure quite a few others think.

  3. First, thanks for writing and please know LadySwish supports all of our schools, not just ODU. Please feel free to email us at if there is something specific you'd like to see in the blog. We're working on a piece about Val Ackerman's report about the game. We try not to make any post frivolous, though many are fun. Our proximity to ODU is a factor, but we strive to report on all 13 Division I programs in the state. We've had lots of offseason ODU news to report on, but we promise to keep your comments in mind and we thank you for reading (and writing)!