New SUNY Sullivan women’s volleyball coach Corinne McGuire hopes to resurrect a program she once led to the NJCAA regional tournament.
Story by Eli Ruiz
LOCH SHELDRAKE July 26, 2013 Back in 2012, SUNY Sullivan athletic director Chris DePew announced his ambitious, three-phase master plan to bring a whopping six new or long defunct sports programs to the school.
Phase 1 of his initiative is slated to start off this fall with a new wrestling team and a resurrected women’s volleyball squad. Heading that volleyball program will be Sullivan County native Corinne McGuire, who brings close to 20 years of coaching experience and a host of impressive academic, as well as athletic, accomplishments.
An enthusiastic McGuire said of her recent hiring, “I’m just extremely honored to be chosen as head women’s volleyball coach at SUNY Sullivan. It’s where some of my very best memories, values and perspectives were formed. This truly is my hometown team!”
DePew couldn’t be happier to land someone of McGuire’s background, who also happens to have local connections.
“I’m very, very excited to have on-board a proven coach with the experience and knowhow as a former standout athlete herself to take this program to the next level,” said DePew. “With close to 20-years coaching experience, and all she brings to the table, I think she was the best fit for the job here.”
McGuire starred as a three sport athlete at Fallsburg High School, where she garnered all-conference recognition in both volleyball and skiing and was named “Athlete of the Year” as a senior.
“Before I even graduated from Fallsburg [High-School], then head volleyball coach at Sullivan, John Webster, was knocking on my door to play for him,” reflected McGuire. I actually still distinctly remember the very real feeling of excitement and achievement I experienced back then.”
Moving on to SUNY Sullivan in 1991, McGuire had a hand in leading the Lady Generals to a NJCAA Regional Tournament appearance as a setter. McGuire later transferred to SUNY Cortland where she graduated cum laude in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.
“Originally recruited locally, I was able to afford my first two years of college, and was also able to stay at home with my mother who’d been diagnosed with cancer,” explained McGuire. “To me, it was about someone giving me an opportunity. To this very day, I still have the press release announcing that a local volleyball player was going to attend and play at Sullivan. Qualifying for regionals that same year was just the icing on the cake.”
Continuing her love affair with the sport, McGuire remained very active on the volleyball scene after college, participating in intramural, club ball, and competing in various indoor and outdoor beach tournaments.
Upon her return to her hometown of Woodridge, McGuire began her long coaching career at her high-school alma mater. In 1995 she was named facilities coordinator at SUNY Sullivan and also volunteered as an assistant with the still active volleyball team a team that qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament that year. (By the mid 2000s, the program disbanded due to declining enrollment and budgetary issues).
Most recently, while coaching elite athletes of all ages in the winter, McGuire also took the time to coach the Liberty Middle School girl’s volleyball team, assisting with the school’s varsity squad in the fall of 2012.
Asked if she intended to recruit locally, McGuire affirmed, “I want to be able to provide that same opportunity for other volleyball athletes in this community that I had; so yes, absolutely.
As for this fall, McGuire’s goals are to be “well prepared, well conditioned, competitive and professional on and off the volleyball court.”
Long term, McGuire has some loftier ambitions for the program: “I want to eventually reach that national tournament again. It will be a tremendous task from scratch, but anyone that knows me knows how competitive and persistent I am. The very same qualities I’ll be looking for in my athletes.”
McGuire reserved some high praise for her new employer: “Sullivan has a tremendous track-record for holding their athletes to very high academic standards and I too will be focused on preparing my athletes academically and athletically in order to possibly continue to play at the next level. If you can succeed in instilling the right morals and values in your program, the rest will surely come.”
McGuire and SUNY Sullivan will be hosting an Open Recruit Day on Tuesday August 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the Paul Gerry Field-House for anyone interested in playing volleyball for SUNY Sullivan. For more information, please visit the school’s official website at www.suny.sullivan.edu.