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February 09, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-09

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 2005 -11
Corrigan matures into captain role

By Sara uvingston
Daily Sports Writer
Dynamic. Aggressive. Efficient.
When senior captain Geoff Corrigan arrived at
Michigan, high school troubles had made him "a
cocky kid with a chip on his shoulder," according to
Michigan coach Kurt Golder. But over time, Corrigan
has grown into a mature, responsible person and gym-
nast. Leading his team both in and out of the gym,
Corrigan embodies the three adjectives above, chosen
by Golder.
Corrigan knew Michigan was the right school for him as
soon as he stepped foot on campus. And when it came to the
gymnastics coaches, the feeling was mutual. Golden learned
about Corrigan from the gymnasts' club coach, Ron Brant, and
was eager to give Corrigan a chance, knowing this could be just
the environment Corrigan needed to develop as a gymnast.
"I think what drew me most was the feeling you get when
you walk into Michigan," Corrigan said. "It's a Big Ten school,
the coaches were so supportive and they had national team
members. That's what I wanted to be, and that's where I want-
ed to go."
Dynamic
During every practice, Corrigan signals for the team to "cir-
cle up" in the center of the mat. After briefly discussing their
progress, he leads the Wolverines through a team flip - when
the entire team does a flip at once - and then calls practice
to an end.
"When training he's always after the results," Gold-
er said. "He really gets after it, and he has developed
a lot. I have seen a lot of growth in him over the years,
and he has developed now into a good vocal leader,

and he is a great leader by example in the gym. And
all of that is really paying off for him."
Senior Eddie Umphrey, who knew Corrigan long
before he became a Wolverine, finds it hard to believe
how much Corrigan has grown over the years. From
when they were high school students training together
on the same regional team to the present - Michigan
seniors ready to make a legitimate run at the NCAA
National Championship - Umphrey couldn't be proud-
er of just how much his good friend has improved.
"He has definitely matured a lot and come a long
way," Umphrey said. "Between freshman year and
now he has really stepped it up. He is doing great, and
he is a great leader and a good person that we need to
win this national championship."
Aggressive
After coming to Michigan his freshman year with a
torn bicep and a bad knee - both of which required
surgery - Corrigan worked through rehab while mak-
ing sure to never lose sight of his goals. Becoming a
captain was a dream come true for him - after aspir-
ing for such an honor the last three years.
"It means everything," Corrigan said. "It means my team-
mates are behind me and that I have a big enough role in their
everyday life that they can look up to me and want me out there
being captain."
Golder looks at Corrigan's leadership position as another
example of how much he has developed since putting on his
first maize and blue uniform.
"I wasn't surprised a bit," Golder said of Corrigan being
elected captain. "But I can go back to the incredible leadership
that he displays. Yet, just two years ago, his teammates maybe
wanted to strangle him on several occasions."

Efficient
When asked about Corrigan's personality and characteris-
tics as a gymnast, his teammates immediately raved about his
efficiency and ability to get the most out of any practice. Cor-
rigan always manages to find the time to help his teammates
whenever necessary.
"Watching him work out makes me feel that I have
to work out harder to keep up with him," freshman Dan
Rais said. "He is very efficient, and he always gets the
stuff done. And, mostly, whenever I need help, he knows
exactly what to tell me, and it always helps a lot."
Golder - who has been coaching for over 25 years
- cites Corrigan as one of the best young coaches he has
seen in quite some time, noting that he is always "right on
the money when he helps somebody in the gym." Golder
has already hired two former Wolverines - Daniel Diaz-
Luong and Scott Vetere - who have already made an
impact on the team's performance, and he clearly knows
coaching talent long before the players do.
"If I were looking for a coach, I wouldn't hesitate one
heartbeat to hire him," Golder said. "He is going to be
that good of a coach if that's what he decides to do."
Even Corrigan can acknowledge the strides that he has
made, laughing when he thinks about the irresponsible things
he did as a freshman.
"The biggest thing is that I have grown up a lot," Corrigan
said. "Coming in, I was young and stupid, and, four years later,
you just look back at some of the things you did and just won-
der what you were thinking."
Said Golder: "I'm going to be real proud of him - the fact
that he has grown so much as a person, as a gymnast and as a
leader. Geoff graduating from the University of Michigan is
one of the best success stories of my coaching career."

TOMASSO GOMEZ/Daily
Senior Geoff Corrigan hopes to lead the tumblers to an NCAA title.

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