Sports Odds & Ends
Corrina Evans just started her master’s degree work in leadership at Augsburg University, with an anticipated graduation date of August 2023.
In the meantime, Evans is working as an assistant volleyball coach at the same school she once played for (2017-21). The 5-10 middle blocker from Blaine, Minn. finished each of her four AU seasons among her team leaders in kills and total points, and a multiple All-MIAC performer as well.
Evans is in her first year of a two-year graduate fellowship. “I didn’t envision myself going into coaching,” she admitted last week in an MSR phone interview. “But I always noticed that I had things to say [as a player] and I would never say them, but I know the game really well in my own mind.”
Just like a player, Evans now as a coach must make the necessary adjustments. “It’s just kind of eye-opening, the time that goes on outside of practice,” she noted. “When you’re a player, all you really have to think about is showing up and playing.
“The coaches are here day in and day out in season,” continued Evans. “So they’re working pretty hard to get new recruits all year round. They’re always planning ahead for the end of the season and the beginning of next season. There’s a lot of thinking ahead and work done day to day that I didn’t really think about as a player just because I didn’t have to.”
Evans is her school’s only Black assistant coach on the volleyball coaching staff. Asked about diversity in volleyball, she responded, “I have seen a change. We are seeing a lot more diversity in high school volleyball, and not only just in high school but at a higher level. The club season for high school age [players] is becoming a little bit more accessible.
“Before it was very high-priced,” Evans said. “I now think that people are making a more conscious effort to not make it so spendy or to have opportunities for players…to experience these things.
“I think that that’s helping bring diversity in sport.”
Danielle Wright last week was appointed director of strategic communications for the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC).
Wright will oversee all communications functions of the GCAC, including website development and social media management, and will help coordinate GCAC marketing and branding initiatives.
“She is a consummate leader and one of the most dynamic professionals in our industry,” said GCAC Commissioner Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes last week in a release statement on Wright’s hiring. “She understands what it takes to build a strong team.”
Wright’s extensive experience includes being sports information director at Clark Atlanta and Kentucky State Universities, where she helped redesign KYSU’s athletics website and oversaw CAU’s community engagement, which led to a Division II community engagement award. She was a media relations assistant for the Mid-American Conference.
Wright also worked in K-12 education communications and student services as well as operating her own firm.
“It is an amazing feeling to be back in athletics,” said Wright in a prepared statement.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.