Corrigan: 'Good Things Are Going on Here Right Now'

Brett Friedlander

SI All Wolfpack: This crisis notwithstanding, how would your characterize your first year at State?

Boo Corrigan: "Great people. incredibly passionate fans, great coaches that are doing things the right way, a group of student-athletes that are dedicated to their sports, to the institution, to each other. (They achieved) a 3.08 GPA in the fall, which I believe is the highest ever. All the good things that are going on here right now.

"We had a day, it was Valentine's Day. That's how romantic I am, my wife and I went to a wrestling match against Virginia Tech and there were 2,200 people there. The next day we went to a baseball game and there were about 1,800 people there. We went to a gymnastics meet and there were 1,400 people there. We went to a softball game and there were probably 300 people there. The next day was one of our sold out women's basketball games. 

"People love this institution. They love supporting this institution. From our standpoint, from an athletic standpoint, we want to make sure that we're providing good venues and clean venues and people feel welcome and really feel like they're a part of any and all successes we've had."

AW: How much statisfaction do you take in the fact that the Wolfpack ended a 29-year championship drought in the highest-profile sports on your watch when the women's basketball team won the ACC tournament earlier this month?

BC: "It's a great thing for the people that were in the program before that were able to celebrate that. You could see the pure emotion of what it was, people with their hands on their head or looking at each other like "We did it!' I think that's the moment that you really want to share with people.

"That's well beyond me. That's about the coaches, that's about the strength coaches, the trainers, the nutritionists and primarily about the student-athletes this year and what they were able to accomplish. And all of us were able to celebrate."

AW: How important is it for one of the big men's sports teams to break through now with a championship?

BC: "It's always important. It's why they keep score at the end of the day. I'm not trying to make light of it, but of course it's important. That's what our coaches talk about. That's what they recruit to, the opportunity to win championships. My job, our job is to do all we can to give them everything they need to achieve these goals."

AW: How does this athletic shutdown affect the timeline of the NCAA investigation into the Dennis Smith Jr. allegations?

BC: "Our focus is on right now, on our staff and on our students. The NCAA is focused on what they've got to do from a business standpoint, so it's been delayed. I don't know if there is a final date on the backside of when they'll pick back up. But certainly what we're going through right now is much better than anything else."

 AW: You hired a design firm back in January to look into facility improvements. What are the most immediate goals in that area and what is the long-range plan?

CB: "It's an athletics development plan for all of our sports. So what we wanted to do was be kind of a road map for the next five, 10 or 20 years. We sent out surveys to the baseball community, be that season ticket holders or individual game purchasers, of what we can do better from a facilities standpoint. 

"We also had conversations with all of our coaches, a sampling of students as well as staff. We did the same thing around Carter-Finley. That survey went out and I think at one point we got a note from (facilities director) John Portland that we were hitting records for people responding to the survey. That's a great thing that people actually had time to fill out a survey that our timing was going to be so great.

"I think what we're really looking for is a road map to the next five, 10, 20 years that will allow us to look at those facilities and other facilities we haven't really thought about and ways to them improve."

AW: Other than facilities, what are your top priorities moving forward once the coronavirus crisis is over and life starts getting back to normal?

CB: "It's always going to be on the people. It's how my mom and dad raised me, always thinking about people first. Whether that's the experience of our student-athletes -- you know name, image and likeness is still out there. That's not going away and how does that get incorporated into higher education over the next few years.

"I think it's our staff and making sure they have the resources they need to achieve at their highest level. And our fans, always keeping an eye on them and making sure that they feel engaged in what we're doing, have a belief and faith in what we're doing and that we're in this as one Wolfpack."