Joplin, Mo. – The winningest head coach in Missouri Southern State University men's basketball history, Robert Corn, has announced his retirement from coaching, effective after this season as he will transition into a new position with the University on July 1, 2014.
As part of the announcement, current Lions' Associate Head Coach Jeff Boschee will be elevated to Interim Head Basketball Coach on July 1, 2014 and will serve as the head coach throughout the 2014-15 season. Corn will move to his new position as the Director of Alumni Relations/Athletics on that date, as well.
Corn holds a 395-300 overall record in his 25 years at Missouri Southern. He has guided the Lions to 20 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Postseason Tournament berths, 15 in a row, and four trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament. He is fourth on the MIAA's all-time wins list and is second among active coaches. The 1999-2000 National and Region Coach of the Year, Corn has been the only coach the Lions have had since joining the MIAA and Division II.
"Missouri Southern has been a great part of my life for the last 25 years and more including my years as a student," Corn said. "I have had the pleasure of coaching some of the finest young men to grace the courts here and they've helped give me some life-long memories. I cannot forget the assistant coaches that I've had along the way, as well as the tremendous support staff here in the athletic department and the administration, professors and staff within the school that I've had the opportunity to work with.
"With that being said, I'd like to ask everyone to respect our team with regards to this announcement. The season is never about me, but moreover it's about the players and having a fun and productive year. At the conclusion of the season, I will be happy to sit down with anyone who wishes and answer any questions you have, but until then, I will not have any further comments."
A native of Benton, Ill., where he was twice a special mention prep All-State performer, Corn played basketball for two seasons at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), including one year under Bartow, before transferring to Missouri Southern. As a senior, he was co-captain of the 1977-78 squad that went 27-9 to capture both Central States Intercollegiate Conference and NAIA District 16 crowns and advance to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament. Corn was honored for his athletic and academic efforts that year as he was named honorable mention All-CSIC and All-District, as well as Missouri Southern's outstanding physical education major. He received his bachelor's degree in 1978.
Corn returned to his alma mater following ten years as an assistant under one of the game's most respected coaches, Gene Bartow, at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Corn went to UAB as a graduate assistant in 1979, just one year after Bartow had been hired to start the Blazers' basketball program, and was later promoted to full-time assistant in 1981.
He is married to the former Cindy Little of Muscle Shoals, Ala. They have two sons, Rob and Scott Michael.
"Robert has been not only the face of the men's basketball program at Southern for the past quarter-century, he has been one of the most recognizable faces at the University, as well," said director of athletics, Jared Bruggeman. "The way he has ran his program should be a model for what many coaches at this level strive for. I want to personally thank him for his long years of service and wish him good luck in his new venture."