BOYS SOCCER: Corey Grove selected to be boys soccer coach at Chambersburg
He's young, and it will be his first varsity head coaching experience, but Corey Grove believes the time and situation are perfect for him to become the next head boys soccer coach at Chambersburg.
"When I moved back here, a lot of great opportunities were there for me," said Grove, 26, who graduated from CASHS in 2007. "Doors just seemed to keep opening – I started as a middle school assistant, then I was the middle school head coach for a year and now the varsity position came open.
"It's a big step, and it's exciting, but I feel I'm ready to take the next step in my career. And it's nice to come back and do it at the school that gave me so much."
Officially, Grove has not been hired yet. But he is the choice of a search committee that included administrators and current players, and his name will be up for school board approval in June.
There does seem to be a bit of destiny involved. Grove's father, Steve, was the Trojan coach from 2003-07 and coached Corey during that time. His mother, Wendy, is a longtime middle school girls volleyball coach. Corey played soccer and ran track for Chambersburg, and continued to play both sports at High Point (N.C.) University, a Division I school.
He lived in Florida for a year, but moved back home and immediately realized that coaching is what he wanted to do.
"When you play the game and your career ends, it leaves a void," Grove said. "I knew I had to get back into it and coaching was the way to do it."
Chambersburg athletic director Jeremy Flores said, "Corey's energy level is through the roof, and that's a positive that will benefit the program. He eats, sleeps and breathes soccer."
Grove will also benefit from a unique situation. Because the middle school boys season is in the spring, he can keep that position and still coach varsity in the fall. That will allow him to coach kids from seventh grade all the way to their senior year.
"Having that continuity there will be great," Flores said. "He can teach them at the middle school level and they'll be ready when they're in high school."
Grove said, "To be able to have kids from grades seven to 12 gives me the chance to really build a program. When I was young, I looked up to players who played at a higher level, and I wanted to be like them. I think I can give back something like that to these kids."
Another advantage is that Grove is already familiar with the soccer landscape in Chambersburg.
"I played under my dad, so I know what to expect being the varsity coach," he said. "Plus, I have more playing experience than he did. And I live in the community, so I know what to expect from parents. (Former coach) Guy (Furfaro) and I have a good relationship and we've had a lot of feedback the past couple of years.
"My No. 1 priority will be the high school team, but I know it's very important to give kids a good start at the youth level, so I'll be reaching out to the community to help in that area, too."
The Trojans are coming off what might be their best season in program history, going 16-4-1 and winning the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division championship. They lost in the District 3 quarterfinals, one win away from qualifying for the PIAA Tournament for the first time.
"The program's in great shape," Grove said, "so that gives us a huge jump start. We have plenty of kids with a lot of talent. We've gotten to the point where making districts is the expectation and we were talking about making states last year. Now we have to move forward and go further."
One thing Grove would like to change about the program is that no coach has remained in charge for longer than five years since co-coaches Gary Barnes and Jim Olson coached for six from 1984-89.
"I'm looking at this as a long-term thing," Grove said. "I'd like to give the program some stability. All I can say is that as of this moment, I'd like to be doing this for a while."