Jamie Corr is still a coach.
Two weeks ago, he was reprising his time as a state title winner at Lambert, throwing to Longhorns alum Kyle McCann in the College Home Run Derby. During the summer, he coaches his 15-year-old son with the Georgia Bombers travel program. He won’t micromanage the program at Denmark, but he’s planning on helping out Danes head baseball and softball coach David Smart at practice.
“If you’re a baseball guy, you’re a baseball guy,” Corr said. “You never get tired of it.”
Burnout wasn’t why Corr left coaching as a full-time job, four years after restarting and leading the program as Florida SouthWestern College, a gig he took on after highly successful stints at South Forsyth and Lambert.
But the opening of Denmark, the county’s newest high school, presented Corr with an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He would be able to work with Heather Gordy, a former colleague at South and Lambert and now Denmark’s principal, and move back to an area that had felt most like home to him and his wife, Dana, who has many family members that still live in metro Atlanta.
So while his role as Denmark’s first athletic director may give Corr a new career path, it isn’t changing who he is.
“I’m here to have fun,” Corr said. “I’m here to have fun, and one thing I’ve preached to every single team I’ve been involved with 21 years (is) I have fun in every single thing I do. And that’s why I love it so much.”
The fun times in this job, particularly in its early stages, came with a heavy workload and very long hours. Corr was hired in November, but the plan wasn’t to immediately leave his college job. He finished one last season with the Buccaneers this spring, all while balancing the organization and personnel demands of Denmark.
To complete the process of hiring an entire athletic coaching staff, Corr would take a weekend to come up to Forsyth County, during which he and Gordy would interview coaching candidates and hunker down to get as much done as possible.
“That was a bit challenging,” Gordy said. “… For both us, we were looking at seven-day weeks.”
It wasn’t a completely foreign experience for Corr, though. He had served on search committees in the past, and his time at Lambert and FSW gave him experience with starting new teams and organizations. He looked at the task of hiring coaches and staff as one not unlike recruiting players for a baseball team.
One particularly personal hire was that of Smart, who is coaching the sport Corr has the most experience and could soon be coaching Corr’s son. Corr and Smart’s relationship extends long before the Denmark hiring process, though – they were together on the staff of the Team Georgia all-star team back when Corr was at Lambert.
“My time with him out there has showed me that when I go to see him coach, I’m the one that needs to take a pencil and pad,” Corr said of Smart.
At the same time, Corr feels uniquely prepared for this current position, in a way that he didn’t during his high school coaching days. Gordy said that the Jamie Corr she knew four years ago could have handled being an athletic director, but Corr himself isn’t so sure.
“I think it took all of my past experiences to get ready for a position like this,” he said. “My coaches now, I think they would be comfortable coming to me in just about every situation, because they know I’ve personally gone through those types of situations and whatever they would bring.”
That experience can balance the newness of Corr’s situation, which is visible in his current working quarters. Sporting a blue Under Armour polo – the Longhorns’ exclusive uniform provider – he excitedly strides the wide-open halls of the school, from the un-scuffed basketball court to the weight room and locker room, both yet to be sporting the stench of practice.
Corr’s office still looks like the space of a new employee, with a clean desk, relatively bare walls and framed mementos from his coaching days yet to be hung up.
But Corr is back in Forsyth County, and in some ways his current situation doesn’t feel new at all.
“It’s like settling back in to your favorite chair,” Corr said. “…From principal Gordy, to the community, to just how everybody treats each other up here is night and day, compared to a lot of places around this country. And sometimes it takes moving away from here to really realize that.”