Corrigan develops in his father’s program
Brian Plamondon | Monday, March 31, 2014
Growing up in Indiana, Irish junior midfielder Will Corrigan never faced a particularly high level of competition when it came to lacrosse. He actually was better at tennis in middle school, being told that he could certainly pursue that sport in college. By the time high school rolled around, however, he realized he enjoyed playing lacrosse even more — and he wanted to play for his dad, Irish coach Kevin Corrigan, now in his 26th season with the program.“Neither of us thought I could play at [Notre Dame’s] level,” Will Corrigan said with a laugh. “He said if I want to come here, I have a spot, but I probably won’t play for a few years. Kind of worked out for both our benefits that I was better than we expected.”
Will has since become a reliable and versatile player for Notre Dame, making smart decisions with the ball while contributing to the team’s offensive output. In 39 games (16 starts) his first three seasons, he has scored 11 goals while adding 11 assists. Part of his success can be attributed to his familiarity with the team and coaching style, spending countless hours around them as a kid. His father certainly thinks so, and he has also enjoyed every minute having his son on the team.
“I’m coaching a young adult,” Kevin Corrigan said. “I’m not coaching a little kid — there’s no real drama for he and I. And that I get to be a part of his college athletic experience is a pretty neat thing, because it’s something that he and I care a lot about and its something we’ll always have that we got to share.”
Will echoed his fathers’ sentiments, adding that he embraces the chance to see him every day.
“He was always a role model for me growing up,” he said. “Having him around every day is really great. I stop by the office almost every day to talk to him as a dad, not a coach, which is pretty cool.”
This is not to say that having his dad as a coach has not come with some adjustments for the younger Corrigan, particularly when his teammates air complaints about the coaching staff.
“It’s hard in the locker room when guys are saying, ‘Why did coach make us do this today?’ or ‘Why did we run so much?’,” Will said. “That whole aspect was challenging for me, but it’s gotten a lot better.”
Coach Corrigan understands the difficulties that his son faces his with his teammates. There is also the issue of where the line stops for him being a dad and where it begins for him as coach. The elder Corrigan said he has not found the issues to be difficult to resolve, however.
“When we’re on the field, I treat him no different than anybody else,” Coach Corrigan said. “That’s not to say I treat everybody the same. You learn what guys respond to and what they don’t, and while there’s a certain amount of pushing and prodding you really tailor it to what a guy responds to — I think I do that with Will on the field the same as everybody else.”
Since both are now trying to help the Irish win their first-ever national championship, lacrosse is always a hot topic at home during the summer.
“We talk about lacrosse [at home] but it’s not like he forces me into it — I almost force him into it,” Will said. “We’ve both always loved the game, so we try to figure out how can I get better and how the team can get better. The one thing I will say is it’s not as fun when you’re on vacation and your coach is with you and he knows if you’re working out or not.”