From player to assistant coachPublished 1:40pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013
— Look for this story, along with features, photos, a state preview, bracket and stats in a 12-page special section out today in the Austin Daily Herald print edition!
Corey Christopherson has come full circle.
The 2002 Austin grad spent his high school days playing basketball under head coach Kris Fadness, and now he’s one of the top assistant coaches in Fadness’ program.
The transition has been a smooth one for Christopherson, and Fadness is glad to have him on the staff.
“When there was a chance to get him back in the district, it was nice to get him locked in,” Fadness said. “I know he’s just waiting for me to hang up my cleats, but unfortunately I don’t know what the heck I would do with my life when I do that. I don’t know when that will happen.”
Christopherson, who has been an assistant coach with the Packers for six years, played point guard for a Packers team that finished third in a loaded Big Nine Conference in 2002. Rochester John Marshall had two future Division I college players on its team, but the Packers still had a solid year as Fadness said they were “three shots from a conference title.”
Christopherson went on to play at Rochester Community and Technical College for two years, and when he transferred to Winona State, he took on coaching with St. Mary’s University as an assistant coach. Christopherson coached at St. Mary’s for three years before coming back to Austin, where he has enjoyed all of his time.
“I love where I’m at right now at the elementary school, and coaching at the high school,” Christopherson said. “It’s been great.”
Christopherson helped coach the Austin junior varsity team that went 17-7 overall this season, and Fadness said the two are always on the same page, so he doesn’t interfere with the JV.
Christopherson recalls coaching Joe Aase and Tom Aase when they were freshmen.
“We were going to work everything through Tom and that lasted 10 games. Then we had to move him up to varsity,” Christopherson said. “Joe put up huge numbers for us, and Zach Wessels and Bret Lukes were running through the Big Nine in eighth grade, so we knew when you matched those groups, you were going to have something special.”
Austin junior guard Ajuda Nywesh put in a lot of time on the JV last season, and he said Christopherson is a solid coach.
“He’s a good coach and he tells you what you’ve got to do to win,” Nywesh said. “He definitely knows what he’s doing.”
Christopherson, who would like to be a head coach someday, has soaked up a lot of knowledge from Fadness.
“Coach Fadness is one of the best coaches around,” Christopherson said. “You know that when you play for him, and you know it more when you coach with him. I’ve learned a ton, from scouting to preparation, to skill development. He knows as much as anyone I’ve been around.”
Christopherson is excited the Packers are playing in their second straight state tournament after a 30-year drought, and he also likes what the future holds for the program.
“What’s really exciting is we’ve got talent down the line still,” he said. “There are some teams coming up that’ll be good.”