600 Wins and Counting: Caldwell University’s Mark Corino Makes NJ Men’s College Basketball Coaching History 

By: Jerry Del Priore

 

Division II Caldwell University Men’s Basketball head coach Mark Corino entered the 2021-22 campaign just two wins away from reaching the 600-victory point in his illustrious coaching career.  

 

Corino, who also serves as the assistant vice president/director of athletics for the university, achieved that mark on Saturday, November 20th, in a 77-69 victory over the University of Bridgeport, in Orangeburg, N.Y. 

 

As of press time, Corino is one win away from another historic milestone: tieing retired coach Gerry Matthews from Stockton University, who is currently the winningest men’s college coach in the state of New Jersey with 603 wins. Plus, one more victory after that (604) will have him surpassing Matthews as the winningest men’s coach in Garden State college hoops history.  

 

“I think it means I’ve been around for a while,” Corino quipped regarding reaching the 600 win mark. “I’m proud of the accomplishments, but I didn’t do it alone. It takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people, including my coaching staff. I don’t want to talk about myself because it’s been about the people that I have been associated with. It’s the institution providing me with the opportunity to coach for as long as I have, and the support of the administration.” 

 

In the process of amassing over 600 triumphs, Corino and the Cougars have made five trips to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament; two appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament; seven Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) regular-season championships; six CACC Tournament titles, and a NAIA District 31 crown.

 

With all the hardwood achievements the program has had, Corino said he has enjoyed watching his former players move on to the next level, with 12 or 13 players making it to the professional ranks. 

 

Moreover, the Belleville, NJ native said, “It’s the development of young men that I take the most pride in, and the program as a whole. Obviously, you think of the championships, and that makes you smile. But graduation is something that makes me smile the most. Their collegiate success, both athletically and academically, give me the most pride.”  

 

A lifelong New Jerseyan and Belleville High School alumnus, Corino has had the pleasure of working at a profession he truly loves right in his own backyard. 

 

“I would not change my professional opportunity to be a collegiate coach,” he said with the utmost earnestness. “Many people have to move around to coach. I have had the good fortune of doing it thirty minutes from where I grew up.” 

 

So, with all that he has accomplished as the coach of Caldwell University Men’s Basketball (507-531) in 34 years, one might think that Corino’s undying love for the sport has somewhat dwindled over the years. 

 

However, he said that could not be further from the truth.

 

“I still have a tremendous amount of passion for the game,” Corino said. “I still enjoy working with these young men.” 

 

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