Mark Karen walked into a conversation between Jamie Corr and principal Kim Oliver discussing the baseball coaching vacancy at Denmark High School, where Karen was serving as an assistant principal.
Corr, Denmark’s athletic director since the school opened in 2018, served as interim baseball coach during the 2021 season, where the Danes won their first region championship.
“Mrs. Oliver had already offered Corr the full-time baseball offer and I said, ‘Oh, and get to stay athletic director?’” Karen said. “They looked at me and said no. Then it all played out pretty quickly.”
Corr walked into Karen’s office the next day and told him he would not accept the position unless Karen agreed to move into the athletic director position, a role Karen previously held at North Gwinnett and Dacula for 15 years.
After taking a few days to weigh his options after Corr officially accepted the position to lead the Danes’ baseball program, Karen accepted the athletic director opening Tuesday morning.
“This became more of just a lucky situation,” Karen said. “I was an AD for 15 years, and each time you evaluate how each role is different. You evaluate the situation that’s all encompassing athletics. Whether it’s your staff or facilities ... the whole deal.”
Alongside being the athletic director, Karen spent time coaching girls soccer and cross country at North Gwinnett and Dacula. He still coaches two club soccer teams outside of work.
Corr’s successful baseball coaching career includes stops at South Forsyth and Lambert — where he led the Longhorns to a state championship in 2014 — as well as collegiate coaching stops at Darton College and Florida Southwestern College.
Corr took a three-year pause to be Denmark’s first athletic director and coached the Danes' baseball program this spring in David Smart's absence.
“I’m excited to be back in the dugout full time with our outstanding players,” Corr said. “With the timing of the baseball vacancy, our administration saw it as a logical transition of roles. I have relied heavily on Mark’s experience since the opening of the school in almost every decision I’ve made. That should result in a seamless transition of ADs for our entire coaching staff.”
The coaching vacancy opened after Smart took a similar position at Creekview. Smart also coached softball at Denmark, and the new head Danes softball coach will be announced next week.