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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Q&A with new men’s soccer head coach David Korn

David Korn coaches at Maryville University for eight seasons before Marquette. (Graphic courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

In December 2023, David Korn was announced as the new Marquette men’s soccer head coach.

Last week, Korn took a few minutes to speak with the Marquette Wire. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

How have the last couple months been on campus?

The pride in the university itself is really drawing for somebody coming in. I think it’s a great place to work, I think they’re really supportive of the students. And I think they really just enjoy Marquette. And notice there’s a lot of people that have worked here for 10 years, 20 years or more. So, to me, if usually people are staying that long, then culturally there must be something there.

I’ve just enjoyed the energy, the pride, just the culture of campus, no matter what the touch point is, academics, athletics or other kind of services.

How excited are you for the upcoming season? 

We talk about, our two big things are development and family, so when our family’s all back here, and that’s the fun part of coaching, is getting to spend time with the team. And to know then that we’re going to be able to, from a development piece, have a few more months to prepare for the season is exciting, but to know we get closer and closer every month is awesome. I mean, it’s gonna be great to play games that are meaningful and hopefully put ourselves in a position right away to reach a lot of our competitive goals.

Could you elaborate on those competitive goals? 

Number one, winning a national championship. I feel like the Big East is a conference where the pathway to the NCAA Tournament is attainable, multiple teams can get in, the RPI, the strength of the conference is there. We know to do that there’s a lot of steps. We’ve got to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, so it’s important our non-conference portion of the schedule, as well as our conference portion, that we perform really well and build the right resume.

We also know that we want to win trophies. So, for us, we get two opportunities in the Big East. We get the Big East regular season, and then we get the Big East Tournament. So, I think there’s a lot of little steps that we have to do throughout the course of the season. Just like in soccer, there’s a lot of little steps in the 90-minute game that you’re trying to do to earn a result throughout the course of that. So for us, those things competitively are really, really important as it relates to our team goals on the field.

You mentioned family and development as tenants of the program. Where do those tenants derive from and why those two things?

I feel like at the end of the day, for as much as I may be enthusiastic about the tactics of soccer, as much as I may want our players to be passionate about their soccer growth, I know that this is a four- or five-year window where we get to develop them as people.

So, for them, that means how do we maximize their development as men? How do we maximize their development? Certainly as soccer players. Could be as leaders, could be as teammates, could be students for the degree they want to do, career they want to do, could be as a parent in the future if they’re a father or a husband, all those kinds of things. We feel like the habits and the steps to being successful — when it talks about preparation for a game or success in a season — those habits translate into what they’re doing to be ready for their academic requirements, or off the field or who we are in the community.

So, I hope that the process for which we do things, the habits we create, the environment, culture, that drives our behaviors. I hope that those prepare them, not only to win on the field, in terms of the trophies we want to achieve, but I hope it prepares them for life beyond Marquette, and they look back and say ‘Man, this was a really transformative period of my growth.’ And I hope that that continues to help them stay connected to the program their teammates or friends, people.

What kind of culture are you trying to create here at Marquette?

We want a culture of excellence. So, we want our players, on the field, in the classroom and off the field, making sure that they’re doing the habits and the actions that are gonna give them the best chance to be successful.

For us number one, we can control how hard we work in everything we do. So, on the field, I hope that we’re one of the hardest working teams. If that means that what we’re doing off the ball to win it back in how we defend, if that means in moments of transition when we first win the ball, or moments when we lose the ball, how we react to those moments. To me, that’s a lot like life. Like moments of adversity, how do you respond to those things? Just like what we do with the ball to be proactive and be aggressive. So, I think that there has to be the right work rate, the right intensity and the right competitiveness to everything we’re doing to be sustainable and not burnout.

The guys have to enjoy what they’re doing. They have to like being around each other. They have to continue to want to grow and have a growth mindset. They have to find and have the right passion behind the things they’re doing. Or I think we won’t have consistency of our actions, and that consistency is kind of what allows you to be successful over time.

I hope that we’re a team that continues to work hard about that. We’re a team that plays with great intensity, certainly has a lot of skill and is fun to watch for our opponents. And I hope we’re a team that are the right kind of people and leaders off the field. If that’s in the soccer community, if that’s in the Marquette community, if that’s in the surrounding areas.

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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