January 08, 2008


College mourns passing of Corey


The last time SUNY Cortland basketball teams appeared on their home court back in early December, Pete Corey was there.
Even as his health deteriorated in recent years, it was always hard keeping this distinguished gentleman from staying in close touch with all of the Red Dragon sports he adored — including spending time at the Whitney T. “Pete” Corey Gymnasium named in his honor.
His presence will be missed, for sure. This past Saturday, Corey passed away. He was 88 years old.
Dr. Whitney T. “Pete” Corey, who lived in Homer, served his beloved SUNY Cortland alma mater for 39 years until his retirement in 1982 as a teacher, coach, department chair, dean, provost and vice president of academic affairs, and acting president.
In 1975, the Cortland Alumni Association presented Corey with its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award. A gifted athlete and coach, the Mohawk, N.Y. native was selected as one of six charter members of the SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame in 1969.
On Jan. 29, 1983, the gymnasium in the Bessie L. Park ‘01 Center was formally dedicated in his name.
Corey came to the Cortland campus in 1939. He competed for four years in basketball and was captain and the Red Letter Award winner as a senior. An honorable mention all-state football player, he was one of the first T-formation quarterbacks playing college football in the East. He also competed in baseball and tennis.
He earned a B.S.E. degree from Cortland in 1943 and a Master of Arts in Health and Physical Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College in 1946. A Danforth Teaching Fellow in 1954, Corey received an Ed.D. in higher education from Syracuse University in 1964.
Corey joined the Cortland Men’s Physical Education Department faculty in 1947 as the head coach in basketball and golf and an assistant football and baseball coach. In 11 seasons, the Corey-led Red Dragon basketball squads posted an impressive record of 146 victories and 77 losses. His teams won the prestigious Hofstra Invitational against some of the best teams in the nation.
He coached Cortland to two State University of New York Athletic Conference championships, including the first offered by the conference in any sport.
Corey served as assistant director of athletics for three years and as athletic director for four years. He was chairman of the Men’s Physical Education Department from 1952-67. He then became dean of the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation from 1968-70 before assuming the role of acting vice president for academic affairs. From 1971 until his retirement in July 1982, Corey was provost and vice president of academic affairs.During the Spring 1974 semester, he served as acting president of SUNY Cortland.
In the 1960s, Corey played an active role when SUNY Cortland evolved from a college of education to a college of arts and sciences. As provost, he helped to increase the number of cooperative agreements between SUNY Cortland and other public and private colleges, while also overseeing the significant growth of new academic majors and minors on campus.
“The academic integrity of the College must be the unifying force for everyone connected with the university,” maintained Corey.
In recognition of his commitment to academics and athletics, the Cortland Athletic Department for more than 20 years has presented the Whitney T. Corey Award to the senior female student-athlete with the cumulative highest grade point average.
He called his 40-year association with SUNY Cortland “a love affair.” That relationship continued for the past 25 years after his retirement, as he was a familiar figure at Cortland football, lacrosse and basketball games and remained active with the C-Club.
Corey was predeceased by his wife, Lillian Birdsall Corey ’43, in 2003.He is survived by his two children, Stephen Corey and Betsy Corey Spada, four grandchildren, Adam Corey, Jason Corey, Joe Spada and Corey Spada Wasileski, and two great-grandchildren, Gracie and Abram Wasileski.
There will be no calling hours or memorial service.
Those wishing to honor his memory may send a contribution in honor of Whitney T. Corey ’43 to the SUNY Cortland General Scholarship Fund or the Cortland Alumni Association Fund or the Alumni House Preservation Fund. All checks should be made payable to the Cortland College Foundation and sent to the Cortland College Foundation, Brockway Hall, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY 13045.
CORTLAND WOMEN will be at Corey Gymnasium this evening, hosting William Smith in a tough early-season non-conference test.
The Red Dragons are an unbeaten 7-0, while William Smith from Geneva stands 6-1. The game will be aired on-line at with Bobby Comstock behind the microphone.
Other upcoming broadcasts including the Cortland-Utica men’s basketball game this Thursday at 7 p.m. and Cortland vs. Plymouth State men’s hockey games slated for Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m.).




Tigers, Trojans both tripped up

Cortland High and Homer Central were seeking some momentum to lug into an OHSL Freedom Division volleyball clash against each other coming up on Thursday.
Neither squad got that on Monday evening, suffering setbacks against league foes.
Paying a visit to nemesis Mexico, the CHS Purple Tigers were swept 25-22, 25-13, 25-17. Playing in front of the home folks, the Homer Trojans squandered a good start as Chittenango rallied for an 18-25, 16-25, 25-18, 25-10, 25-20 victory.
Homer will visit Cortland’s Shafer Gym on Thursday, the junior varsity squads getting things underway at 5:30 p.m. It is the second league meeting between the two neighbors this season, Homer prevailing in five games back in December.
Mexico 3, Cortland 0: A bad match-up cost the Cortland High volleyball team Monday night.
“Mexico seems to be the team we match up with the poorest,” Purple Tigers coach Mary Lou Bordwell said, her team falling to 1-9 in the OHSL Freedom Division and overall. “They get beat by Fulton and when we play Fulton we play Fulton well. Something is mixed up here.
“We were handling them on defense but didn’t put the ball away on offense enough to hold our own. The first game was the closest. We put Casey Marks on their big hitter, and she did get her hands on some balls. Casey kept us in the game defensively with three kills and a block kill. Katie Owens led the passing and Amanda Cheetham the setting with 16-for-18, including four assists,” she added.
Bordwell said that the second game included many long rallies, but that the Mexico attack won out, adding: “We were getting our hands on some of the attack, but they were poorly placed and we couldn’t run an offense off them.
“The third game seemed to be a bit closer as we did attack the ball a little more. Marks again led the team, getting her hands on three attacks, and added a kill. Alissa Claiser and Lisa Frare each had a couple of kills to the back corners.”
Or the night, Cheetham went 44-for-47 with seven assists, a kill and 9-for-9 serving, while Marks was 10-for-10 serving, 18-for-19 attack with six kills and two point blocks and 6-for-6 setting. Claiser was 7-for-7 serving with three kills, Frare 5-for-6 serving with a kill and Owens 10-for-10 setting and 9-for-11 passing.
l Cortland JVs lost to Mexico 25-14, 25-11 to fall to 5-5 as Corina Clayton, Danielle Payne and Kadi Hendricks were all cited for their individual efforts.
Chittenango 3, Homer 2: The Trojans were unable to put away the Bears, which was disappointing after playing well in the opening two games.




Red Lions sweep past rival Eagles

The Cincinnatus Central volleyball team stayed perfect in three Central Counties League matches and improved to 6-1 overall Monday with a 25-15, 25-21, 25-16 win over visiting McGraw.
Elsewhere, host DeRuyter fell to Living Word Academy 16-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-17 in a non-league match.
Cincinnatus 3, McGraw 2: Jolene Eaton had five kills and five aces and Deanna Frink five kills and three aces for the Red Lions, while Jonelle Eccleston had six digs and Kortni Wright five.
“The girls were in control of the match pretty much the whole time and worked well as a team,” Cincy coach Macy Cobb said. “We had a little trouble getting our serves in at times, but strong play at the net and good defense was too much for McGraw to handle. They did a good job of picking up some hard digs in the second game, but weren’t able to take the lead.”
“We were inconstant the entire match,” said McGraw coach Andrew Smith, whose team fell to 2-4 in league play and 5-7 overall. “We struggled passing the ball, which limited the amount of offense we were able to create. Without us putting any pressure on Cincy, they were able to stay comfortable and in control.”
Maddy Byrne had eight kills and two digs for the eagles, while Nicole Law had four kills and six digs and Kristin Guy a kill and five assists.
Cincy hosts Brookfield Thursday, while McGraw is visited by Living Word Academy today and DeRuyter on Thursday.
Living Word Academy 3, DeRuyter 1: “From what I saw, Living word is the real deal,” said Rockets coach Gary Burdick, his team now 4-2 overall while the Lions of Judah improved to 7-0. “They’re a good team. They hit hard, passed well and made very few serving errors. We hung in there and played fairly well. We made some mistakes, and we’ll work on those.
“It seemed that every time they got the ball there was a pass and a hard hit,” he added. “We played defense a lot, but were able to get the ball back at them quite often. We look forward to seeing them next time. I think we can beat that team if we clean up some mistakes.”