New assistant Paul Corsaro to bring toughness, maturity, and a history of success to Fort Wayne hoop program
A message that the Fort Wayne men’s basketball players hear from fifth-year coach Jon Coffman Ad nauseum is to “Take care of your business.”
In searching for an assistant coach, Coffman found someone that has performed that task well both as a student-athlete and as a coach.
Fort Wayne has hired former University of Indianapolis Associate Head Coach Paul Corsaro and the Indianapolis native brings a track record of maturity and success to the Mastodon program.
“I like to bring in guys that are bright and great communicators,” Coffman told News-Sentinel.com on his hiring of Corsaro, whose undergraduate degree was in communications.
Corsaro has built his athletic resume on three things: Diligence, maturity, and toughness.
As a student-athlete at Indianapolis, Corsaro not only played two sports (football and basketball) but was a three-time Academic All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honoree.
The Roncalli High School graduate actually began work on his MBA when he was still competing for the Greyhounds athletically.
“He has organizational skills from the sense that he played college football, college basketball, and started his MBA in his fifth year, and then finished it when he was an assistant coach,” Coffman continued. “I think that shows great balance, great focus, and great drive, which all translates into being a really good Division I basketball coach.”
Corsaro possesses a lot of traits which have proven beneficial to his success in life.
He comes from an athletic family which has few peers.
Paul’s father, Greg, played football at Indiana State, his mother, Susie, is in the UIndy Hall of Fame for her volleyball and softball exploits, while his younger sister, Lindsey, was the runner-up for Indiana Miss Basketball and plays for UCLA.
But even more so than genetics, Corsaro brings an element of toughness to the Mastodons.
He played both quarterback and defensive back for Indianapolis (he scored 14 career touchdowns) after beginning his career at Youngstown State and Coffman said that experience is relevant on the basketball court.
“I have a football mindset,” Coffman said. “There is toughness to (his experience). But I love watching football coaches and how they operate and they are able to stay organized. You are talking about 85 to 110 guys, so you have to be super organized.”
Toughness and organizational skills are imperative for any coach but in the end, he/she also has to be successful and Corsaro has been exceptional in that regard.
Between the UIndy football and basketball programs, he has been a part of 10 consecutive winning seasons as either an athlete or a coach, including helping the Greyhounds to their most successful basketball season (25 wins in 2014-15) in over five decades.
“They have been very detailed,” Coffman said of the UIndy basketball program. “Details are something that I am really critical of. We are similar programs in that regard.”
Corsaro spent four seasons as an assistant to veteran coach Stan Gouard before being promoted to associate head coach two seasons ago. That experience – under that specific coach – resonated with Coffman.
“Stan Gouard is one of the top coaches in Indiana when you look purely at the success that he has had,” Coffman said. “He’ll think outside the box and is always looking toward getting better.”
As a recruiter, Corsaro helped land the 2017 Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman of the Year (Tate Hall) and Coffman sees him as being incredibly valuable, particularly in the Indianapolis area.
“We’ve had a lot of success in Indianapolis,” Coffman said of the Mastodons’ recruiting, “and that is an area that we target. That is his backyard so some of his relationships there will be great.
“But at the end of the day, he’s a good people person. He’s passionate about the game and I think he is a really, really good fit.”
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