The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 11, 2013

Corn to retire after 25th season at Missouri Southern

— Robert Corn’s 25th season as men’s basketball coach at Missouri Southern will be his last.

Corn announced on Tuesday that he will retire as the Lions’ coach after this season. On July 1, 2014, he will move into a new position as director of alumni relations/athletics.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

“Robert has been not only the face of the men’s basketball program at Southern for the past quarter decade, but also he has been one of the most recognizable faces at the university as well,” athletics director Jared Bruggeman said.

“The way he has run his program should be a model for what many coaches at this level strive to reach. I want to personally thank him for his long years of service and wish him good luck in his new venture.”

The Lions are off to a 7-1 start this season and are 2-0 in MIAA games. Now that Corn’s future plans are known, he wants the focus of the rest of the season to be on his team.

“The season is never about me, but moreover it’s about the players and having a fun and productive year,” he said.

“At the conclusion of the season I will be happy to sit down with anyone who wishes and answer any questions they have. But until then, I will not have any further comments.”

Corn has compiled a 395-300 record with the Lions, headlined by the 1999-2000 team that went 30-3 and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. Corn was named Division II Bulletin national coach of the year that season.

The Lions also made NCAA Tournament appearances in 1993, 2011 and 2012. They won MIAA regular-season championships in 2000 and 2011 and postseason tournament titles in 1993 and 2000.

Corn’s 395 victories rank fourth in MIAA history and second among active coaches behind Washburn’s Bob Chipman.

Corn, a native of Benton, Ill., played two seasons at Memphis State before transferring to Missouri Southern.

His senior season, he was a co-captain on the 1978 Lions team that went 27-9 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City.

Before coming to MSSU, Corn served as an assistant coach under Gene Bartow at UAB. Corn began as a graduate assistant in 1979 — the year after Bartow started the Blazers’ program — and he was promoted to full-time assistant two years later.

Corn and his wife, Cindy, have two sons, Rob and Scott Michael.

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