Welcome Mark Corley

Blue Wave is excited to announce the hiring of Associate Director of Competitive Aquatics, Mark Corley. Coach Mark comes to us from Loggerhead Aquatics. Loggerhead is based out of Jacksonville, Florida. The team has enjoyed much success under Mark’s direction. Formed in 2008, Loggerhead swimmers have successfully competed locally, regionally and on the national stage. Many of Coach Corley’s swimmers have gone on and swam successfully in college at all levels. We are extremely happy to have someone with Coach Mark’s skills, knowledge and experience on staff here for our families.

Culture is key when building any organization. In order to help develop a positive culture, you need people in places who have a positive mindset. Mark has a decades long history of being a positive, people-centric coach...and anyone who saw him yesterday with the swimmers knows what I mean. We are happy to Welcome Mark, his wife Lisa and the rest of his family into the Blue Wave Swamily.

Everyone gets Googled these days. A quick Google search of Mark led me to a 2010 article from the Jacksonville Sun newspaper. Mark was two years into building the new program at Loggerhead and was featured in the newspaper’s, “Difference Mackers” section. When I read the article to my wife she was convinced that the answers came from me, not Mark. That is how much in line Coach Corley is with our philosophies at Blue Wave. The article is brief and you can read it at the end of this post.

Mark’s addition to the staff will enable us to make some changes to the team’s current structure, which we will be rolling out in the next couple of weeks. These program enhancements mean more opportunities for our members. This is an exciting time to be a part of Blue Wave.

I want to again thank Chuck Burgess and the team here at BSAC. Bringing someone with Mark’s pedigree is a major investment. Chuck and the Board of BSAC have done nothing but support me in all of my out of the box ideas. Landing an American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Level Five (the highest) coach was moonshot thinking. But when it comes to doing what’s best for our program and our members, I will always shot for the stars. I appreciate your patience as we waited for the right person to become a member of the staff. Please make Coach Mark feel welcome and at home.

Here’s the article I referenced earlier.

Posted Dec 11, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Even in 50-degree weather, Mark Corley and his Loggerheads are ready to dive in and swim. Corley has coached swimming since 1984, and despite chilly days and windy nights, he’ll keep swimming and coaching until he gets as many kids into swimming as he can.

“I want them to grasp how much this sport has to offer,” he said, noting that swimming is a sport for all ages and skill groups.

The head coach of the Julington Creek Loggerhead Aquatics team sat down with us to talk about his love of swimming and his passion for coaching kids of all ages.

How did you get involved with Loggerhead Aquatics?

The team formed in 2008; I’m the only head coach the team has had. Julington Creek hired me to start a year-round aquatics program, so I developed the team from scratch. Now we have about 180 kids this season, ages 6 through 18, high school seniors.

What kinds of swimmers are involved in the team?

We have swimmers with all ranges of abilities, from basic skills to those ready to qualify for nationals (U.S. swim teams.)

Swimming is a really demanding sport. How do your swimmers make it work?

The kids have a lot on their plate. Schoolwork is a priority and there’s other sports and activities. This is helping them to become excellent at time management. There are some swimmers who practice two or more hours a day. Some of these kids are practicing twice a day. And to see them managing their time like that is huge. This is a skill that’s going to carry through to any career choice they make.

What’s your favorite part of coaching?

The interaction with the athletes. That’s daily and it’s great.

And your least favorite?

The administrative part of it. I’d rather stay on the pool deck and just coach, but there’s so much more to coaching than that. I’ve got to plan their workouts and what they’ll do next week, and what they do today impacts what they do next week.

How do you present your love of swimming to your athletes and keep them involved in the sport?

There’s no shortcuts in this sport. You have to do the work to achieve the goals they’ve set. And they have to set goals. I want to have as many kids as I can get turned on to swimming. And having them truly enjoy it as much as I do is great. That’s why I coach - to help them do what they think is beyond what they can do. This sport is for life - you can still swim when you’re 80 years old.