Kevin Corwin is making the most of his first varsity head coaching opportunity
It has been nearly 20 years since Kevin Corwin got his start in coaching girls basketball.
In that time, Corwin, has coached freshman and junior varsity teams, beginning in Oregon. He has coached AAU teams. He has been an assistant on varsity teams, including at Sarasota High for two seasons. Until this season, he had never been a head coach at the varsity level.
When former Sailors coach Wade McVay stepped down to spend more time with his family, Corwin finally got the nod for which he had been waiting.
"It's a little different," Corwin said. "I am trying to get used to it. It's a lot of fun, implementing the ideas I have had for years, seeing if they work or not. We are trying to mix it up on defense, make sure we play lots of different styles and get to the point where it is tough to watch us and know what we are going to do against a particular team. We are going to get these girls up and down the floor and have fun."
Corwin, who during the day is a teacher at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, said he learned a lot from watching McVay, especially in terms of communicating with his athletes, and thanked McVay for the opportunity to come aboard his staff.
Corwin's opportunity comes with a program that reached the regional semifinals last season and a roster stacked with potential. Much of that comes in the form of junior guard Cheyenne Stubbs, who is explosive off the dribble and deadly beyond the arc when given space. The Sailors are 2-0 as of Nov. 26, and Stubbs has scored 40 combined points in the two wins, good for 33% of the team's points.
"You get super lucky any time you have a player like Cheyenne," Corwin said.
She's not the only one. The Sailors also have three freshmen on the varsity squad, led by the 5-foot-10 Chariot Johnson, who is averaging 14.5 points a game in the two wins. The other two — Jaida Cunningham and Jazlynn Williams — have also made contributions, and teammates have noticed.
"They bring that fire," Stubbs said of the team's freshmen. "They bring that intensity. They have those young bones, as you can say. They bring the heat every time they hit the court. That brings a fire to everybody else, too. We disperse that energy, and we go.
"Everybody is coming together under coach (Kevin) Corwin. He's a good coach. I feel like we are going to get somewhere this year. We are going to get further."
In the two wins, the Sailors have lived up to Corwin's promise, pressuring Tampa Catholic and Wiregrass Ranch High into constant mistakes on offense, which leads to easy transition points. The Sailors won both games by a combined 121-37 score. There will be more difficult tests in the future — like a Dec. 5 game at North Port High and a January matchup with Fort Myers High — but the Corwin era could not have started any better for the Sailors.