On Sept. 19, Mary Corbett was named the new head coach of the Kenyon women’s basketball team ahead of the program’s 50th season. Prior to coming to Kenyon, Corbett served as the lead assistant coach for her alma mater Otterbein University’s women’s basketball team since 2019 and as a graduate assistant from 2016 to 2018. She helped coach the Cardinals to an 18-7 record in the 2021-22 season. She previously served as a women’s basketball intern for Maine Maritime Academy (Maine) during the 2015-16 season. A member of the Otterbein Class of 2015, Corbett began her collegiate career at Ohio Wesleyan University, before transferring to Otterbein, where she served as team captain as a senior.
Given the Owls’ 6-20 record and defeat at the hands of Oberlin College in the first round of the NCAC tournament last season, Corbett believes that the team’s main goal should be consistent growth over the season. “My goal for this season is that each individual shows improvement and we get better as a team as the year progresses,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “The winter season is very long so being able to consistently get better will be the goal.”
In the 2021-22 season, Kenyon surrendered an average of 71.6 points per game, and Corbett believes improving the team’s defensive strategy will be key to finding success. “I want to bring the energy defensively and keep our opponents on their toes,” she said. “It’s been an adjustment for the student athletes so far but they are very coachable.”
As the Owls gear up for the start of the regular season, Corbett has been proud of the work the team has done in their practices so far. “I have never been around a group that loves to learn the game like they do,” she said. “I am fortunate to have a team that truly wants to be at practice each day.” According to Katie Orefice ’23, who led the team in scoring last season, the team has taken to Corbett as much as she has taken to them. “Thus far, Coach Corbett has brought a lot of enthusiasm, commitment, and basketball knowledge to our program,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Kenyon will open their season at home against non-conference Defiance College (Ohio) on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. For Orefice, the start of the team’s first season under Corbett can’t come quickly enough. “I think we have a great team, and we get along well on and off the court,” she said. “I am enthusiastic about our potential and I think that we can accomplish great things this season.”