By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
“Getting to Know” is an ongoing series created to spotlight the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Today, we get to know Kent Roosevelt High School swimming and diving coach Corey Spicer, who is in his third season leading the Rough Riders’ program.
A: Kent, Ohio. Born in Knoxville, Tenn.
Q: High school?
A: Kent Roosevelt High School. Class of 2014. Played football, basketball, swimming and baseball.
A: University of Mount Union and Kent State University.
Q: Current occupation?
A: Aquatics Director at Kent City Schools.
Q: What inspired you to become a coach?
A: As someone who grew up playing every sport I could, I knew the impact coaches had on me in every season at different ages. Knowing I could have that kind of impact on kids really inspired me to take the challenge on.
Q: What makes being a coach at Kent Roosevelt special to you?
A: Being able to coach at the high school I attended is something I hold close to my heart. The Kent community is a special place. Knowing kids might be going through the same experiences I had growing up gives me a better connection with them.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence in coaching?
A: I grew up being coached by both of my parents (Cathy Spicer and Mike Spicer), and I have to say they both have influenced me. My mother is a current member of the Youngstown State University Hall of Fame for her record-setting swimming career and my father played football at YSU for four years. I learned so much from both of them about how sports help build character and they do so much more for you than just participating in them. I’ve been able to attribute my success while playing and coaching to both of my parents.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?
A: I actually had an article in the Akron Beacon Journal my senior year about my football and swimming careers being an abnormal combination for a multi-sport athlete.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?
A: We listen to 88.1’s Saturday Morning Polka, exclusively, during our Saturday practices.
Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Legends of the Hidden Temple (which needs to make a comeback) or One Tree Hill.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Coach Carter.
Q: Favorite musical artist?
A: Taylor Swift or any polka band.
Q: Favorite meal?
Q: Best vacation?
A: This past September, I got to travel with my girlfriend to Orlando and had the opportunity to swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove for my birthday surprise.
Q: Shoutout to former teammates?
A: Brandon, Derek and Jake Knapp (baseball). Dustin Monaco and my little brother Nick Spicer (football). My cousins Julia and Monica Sincel (swimming).
Q: Favorite quote?
A: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” — Ms. Marianne Williamson.
Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?
A: Working with kids that have a wide range of abilities and experience in swimming and diving, I have found that setting goals and season expectations from day one has really helped narrow the kids’ focus. We will make sure they have the best chance to reach the goals they set for themselves, but I can’t want those goals for them more than they want them for themselves.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
A: Quaker Steak and Lube.
Q: Favorite teacher from high school?
A: Carla Ferrell.
Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?
A: Take each day as they come. Not everything has to be going your way at all times.
Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?
A: I was blessed to play for Kent legend John Nemec. If you are from the Kent community, you understand why he means so much to his past players.
Q: Coaching resume?
A: Kent Roosevelt High School boys and girls swimming and diving head coach (2021-24); Roosevelt boys and girls swimming and diving assistant coach (2015-2020).
Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Cleveland Browns.
Q: Favorite athlete then?
A: JJ Redick or Michael Phelps.
Q: Favorite athlete now?
A: Caeleb Dressel and LeBron James.
Q: First job as a teenager?
Q: Who do you go to for the best advice?
A: I have been blessed with two amazing brothers, Justin and Nick, and any advice is always run through them.
Q: Last year’s Halloween costume?
A: Mario and Luigi (Nick Spicer).
Q: Favorite video game?
A: Growing up it was NCAA Football 14, but now it is DOTA 2.
Q: Favorite candy?
A: Reese’s Take 5.
Q: First car?
A: 2005 Ford Mustang.
Q: Best friends?
A: Brandon Knapp, Derek Knapp, TJ Wilfong, Torge Klaassen.
Q: Most memorable moment as a player?
A: Kent Roosevelt vs. Akron Ellet in the Division II playoffs. I returned an interception 89 yards to tie the score, 7-7, near the end of the first quarter.
Q: Most memorable moment as a coach?
A: Getting to watch all the hard work pay off this year at the Suburban League conference meet for both the girls and boys teams. With our last dual-meet wins vs. Tallmadge, it secured the outright league title for both teams. It was the the first time that both teams won a league title in the same season.