A native of Benton, Illinois, Robert Corn played basketball for two seasons at Memphis State University before transferring to Missouri Southern. As a senior, he was co-captain of the 1977-78 team that went 27 and 9 to capture both Central State Intercollegiate Conference and NAIA District 16 crowns while advancing to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament. During his senior year Corn was honored for his athletic and academic achievements, as he was named honorable mention All-CSIC and all-districts, as well as Missouri Southern’s outstanding physical education major.
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Southern he began his storied coaching career at Mountain Grove High School in Missouri. He spent one season there before joining the staff at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Corn was an assistant to legendary head coach Gene Bartow.
During his tenure at UAB, Corn spent eight summers in Puerto Rico as the head coach in the Superior Basketball League. He won two league titles in the 16-team league.
In 1989 Corn returned to his alma mater and became the Lions’ head basketball coach. By his third year he had turned the program around as his next two teams posted back-to-back 20-win season, for only the second time in school history. His 1991-92 squad finished 21 and 8, and the following year the team stood 21 and 10. The 192-93 team was one of Southern’s finest, as the Lions tied for second in the MIAA.
Coach Corn had a special group of student athletes for the 1999-2000 seasons. He led his team to their first MIAA regular season championship and coached Southern to its first NCAAA Division II South Central Regional championship, while capping the season with its inaugural trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. This extraordinary team finished the season with a 30 and 3 record and just two points short of reaching the final championship game. For his outstanding coaching performance Coach Corn was named Division II bulletin National coach of the Year, as well as the MIAA and NABC-Oldsmobile South Central Region Coach of the Year.
As Missouri Southern’s basketball coach with the most wins in the history of the program Coach Corn state, “I think any time you get to go back and be involved in the program for which you played, it is special. The fact that I a had the opportunity to play on one of the best teams in school history has always been a source of pride for me. And then to be able to go on and win a conference championship and advance to the national playoffs while we’ve been coaching here makes the experience all the more meaningful.”
In addition to his duties as Southern’s head basketball coach, Corn is assistant athletic director for development and alumni relations, and is assistant professor of kinesiology. He is married to the former Cindy Little of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. They have two sons, Rob and Scott Michael.
During the summer of 2006, Coach Corn was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.