A day after the volleyball team’s season ended in the NCAA regional finals, Karen Corey announced her resignation from the College after nine years as head coach of the program.
Corey and her family will be moving to Germany to allow her husband to accept a promotion.
In her time at Bowdoin, Corey transformed a struggling program into a perennial national contender. Prior to her arrival the team had had only four winning seasons in its 20-year history.

During Corey’s tenure the team never had a sub .500 record, and from 2007-2012 the team boasted a home win streak of 40 matches. She led the Polar Bears to a NESCAC championship in 2011 and three appearances to the D-III NCAA tournament, including two trips to the regional finals. The impressive 2011 campaign earned Corey NESCAC and American Volleyball Coaches Association regional coach of the year honors.

“It is tremendously hard to leave something that I’ve really invested myself in—making the program so strong and investing in the players and the recruiting process and trying to make the program better each year,” said Corey. “But, at the end of the day we have a really cool opportunity for my husband’s work and we’re going to pursue those opportunities right now.”
“Karen’s an incredibly talented coach and teacher and brought a level of expertise to Bowdoin that led to an incredible amount of success,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan.

While her on-court success singled her out, Corey’s commitment to the College and involvement in the greater Brunswick community also highlighted her time at Bowdoin.
“She was incredibly involved [at Bowdoin]—she was an organizer in Girls and Women in Sports Day, she’s been involved with the town rec department,” said Ryan. “She’s just an incredibly involved person in our community and we’re certainly going to miss her.”

Although the announcement seemed somewhat sudden, coming immediately after the Polar Bears were eliminated from the NCAA D-III tournament, Corey and her family had been planning the move for some time. Corey only waited until the end of the season to tell her team and the Bowdoin community of her retirement so her team could maintain its focus on the season.

“[The team] deserved to have no drama and [to not have] something to distract them away form our program,” said Corey. “So I did choose to wait until the end of the season so we could have a focus in season on what we were doing and do it together.”

Corey’s decision to postpone her announcement, while designed to keep the team focused, came two days after early decision deadlines were due.

When Head Football Coach Dave Caputi announced his plans to step down earlier in year, he did so in middle of the season with potential recruits in mind.

In reaction to Caputi’s decision Ryan said the announcement was made early “to make sure that the students who we are in the recruiting process with are able to make informed decisions about the composition of our coaching staff.”

However, the college does not expect Corey’s volleyball recruits to have an adverse reaction to the announcement.

“All of our coaches when they talk to recruits, the most important decision for them to make is the decision about attending Bowdoin,” said Ryan. “A lot of things can change after you decide to attend a particular institution, but the most important thing is you’re excited about the academic experience you’re going to have at Bowdoin.”

 “I’ve been speaking to [the recruits] and they’re all still interested and have applied early decision one and I think the program is going to be in a really healthy and strong place,” said Corey.

This year’s team had no seniors  and hopes to use the rare continuity it will have next season to fill the void in leadership left by Corey’s absence.

As for Corey’s replacement, Bowdoin hopes to hire a new coach by January.
“It would be great to have someone here just to support the current members of our program,” said Ryan.