Shawn Corrigan with his wife and four kids / photo provided by the Corrigan family
The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.
St. Bernard’s Shawn Corrigan is this week’s Hyland’s Hero.
When and how did you get your start with coaching?
My Aunt asked me 23 years ago, when I was 19 years old and going to college, working at UPS at night to help her coach my niece and nephews team at the Bullitt County YMCA. Ultimately, after the first practice she handed the reins over to me. I enjoyed that season, coached them the next two years.
Once I had my oldest son, we started him in soccer at the Southeast YMCA at 3 and 1/2 years old. I coached him there for a few years then coached him at Fern Creek Optimist. Once he started at St. Bernard, I would coach him at Fern Creek and at St. Bernard.
I coached my oldest son through the eighth grade until he started at St. X. I coach my 11 year and my 5 year old at St. Bernard in multiple sports and will continue as long as I am welcome. If my 1 and 1/2 year old plays sports at St. Bernard, I am sure I will coach her as well.
Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?
Once I graduated high school I wanted to be a teacher. I always wanted to teach children and help them grow. Of course life happened and things changed. I became a master electrician and an electrical contractor. Which allows me in my free time to volunteer. Having children allowed me to be able to get into coaching through their activities.
What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?
My faith taught me to give back to the community. My time and talents allows me to do this through coaching. Coaching is my way of ministering to the kids. Not only teaching the sport, but also being a role model and keeping the faith in our daily activities at the same time.
Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?
I have two people that have influenced me greatly over the years. The first one is my Step Dad - Rod Firquin. I grew up watching him coach football at North Bullitt High school. I saw how much he enjoyed coaching and guiding the kids that I naturally wanted to do the same. The second person is Ed Bruno. Ed and I coached soccer for several years at St. Bernard up until my oldest graduated in the eighth grade. While coaching with Ed, I learned many things thathelped me mature as a coach. Ed helped me more than he could possibly imagine.
What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?
The first principle I have as a volunteer is if you stop enjoying it then it is time to try something else. The second principle is to always smile and have fun with the kids. Always get down on their level when talking to them, kneel down when a player gets upset, get eye to eye and always speak from the heart.
What does your role at your school bring your family?
Volunteering in the various positions keeps my family active and involved with our parish. It has allowed all of us to build a bond with the community and new friendships as well. It has also allowed us to do these things together as a family which has helped us grow closer.
What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?
I have so many; I don't know where to start. Some of my favorites are seeing my son and his friends start a soccer season as just a group of kids then finish the season as a team that when they would move the ball down the field they looked like they had been doing it for decades. They truly performed as one unit. A memory that happened last year happened while I was coaching the 4 & 5 year olds: At the start of the season I had a little boy that would not participate. He would just stand in one place on the field or go run to his parents. With time and coaching, by the end of the season he was participating and having a great time. I saw him and his family two weeks ago at church. He asked me if he could be on my team again this year. It made me very proud to think about where he started and how now he can't wait to start the new season this year.