CORUNNA – Nicole Norris’ journey through athletics is an extensive one.
After graduating from Ithaca High School in 1987, where she was a multi-sport athlete, Norris went on to run track at Alma College before coaching her alma mater’s volleyball team the year after. Since then, Norris has coached volleyball at both Carson City-Crystal and Corunna, where she is now the athletic director.
Today, Norris is recognized as one of mid-Michigan’s top athletic directors as she was named the Region 7 athletic director of the year at Sunday’s Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) annual mid-winter conference.
“The reason it’s so significant, so meaningful, is because I was nominated by my peers,” said Norris, who holds a master’s degree in biology from Michigan State University. “The fact your peers recognize your effort and your hard work means a lot.”
Norris, who has been Corunna’s athletic director for the past six years, has been an MHSAA volleyball official as well as an AAU volleyball coach during her career.
The Ithaca native is also an authorized provider for the Red Cross, which allows her to work with coaches in both CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training. She’s the co-chair for the MIAAA’s publication committee and is currently working on her Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) certification.
“I’m not sure anything can (fully) prepare you to be an athletic director,” said Norris, who has taught at Corunna the last two years in addition to her athletic director duties. “I’ve been involved in athletics since I was very young, as an athlete and as a coach. When I got the opportunity to lead the athletic department, I feel like that helped prepared me a little bit.
“What I enjoy most about the job is working with our athletes and coaches. My teaching career, and the different positions I’ve held, as helped me prepare for this.”
Norris’ father was once a high school principal and because of his long hours she said she “had kind of sworn off administration for a while.” But when the athletic director position at Corunna became available, Norris said she became interested due to her investment in the community.
“I felt that I had more of an opportunity to serve more student-athletes as opposed to my teams,” said Norris, whose daughter, Meredith, verbally committed to play volleyball at MSU. “I thought this way I could help them all.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.