Karen Corey has been the head coach of volleyball at Bowdoin College since 2006. Her seven seasons at Bowdoin have been the strongest in school history. The 2012 team advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and went 28-5 for the season. The 2011 team went 27-3 on the year, won their first NESCAC title, and competed into the second round of the NCAA tournament. Her teams have averaged over 19 wins per season and her .667 winning percentage is easily the best of any coach in the Polar Bear program history.
Corey has also been recognized with several coaching awards from the 2011 campaign - NESCAC Coach of the Year, NEWVA Coach of the Year and AVCA New England Region Coach of the Year. Her teams have shown much success in the classroom as well, earning the AVCA Team Academic Award for the past six consecutive years.
Coach Corey has also coached the United States Navy Women’s volleyball program and the US Armed Forces Volleyball team in International competition. Corey coached the Navy team to a Gold Medal in 2009 and a Silver Medal in 2010. Her experience also extends to coaching beach volleyball. Her two Navy beach teams won Gold and Silver medals in the inaugural 2010 Armed Forces Beach Tournament. She has also been twice selected to serve as Head Coach for the US Armed Forces program, competing at the World Military Volleyball Championships in Brazil in 2009 and North Carolina in 2010.
Corey started playing volleyball with a strong prep career that included an Illinois Class A State Championship. She continued her athletic and academic success at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. A readily contributing member to the Division I Midshipmen team, Corey earned four varsity letters at Navy, received Patriot League Second Team All Conference both her junior and senior years, and was team MVP her senior year. After graduation and between military tours, Corey continued to play competitive volleyball and competed for the All-Navy Volleyball team in 1998 and 1999.
Her coaching career started as a volunteer at various local high schools at her duty stations and formally continued after her active duty military service. In 2001, Corey was the freshman coach at Princeton High School (Princeton, IL). She came to Bowdoin in 2004 and served as the director of volleyball operations and moved to the first assistant position in 2005.
Corey has earned a B.S. in Oceanography (USNA), M.S. in Sports Management (Northern Illinois University) and MBA (Northern Illinois University). In her naval career, she served as an Officer on a combatant destroyer with a deployment to the Persian Gulf. Additionally, she did tours as a meteorologist and as an oceanographer specializing in the Mediterranean theater. Corey is also USA Volleyball CAP Level III coach, has served as the President of the New England Women’s Volleyball Association (NEWVA), and is a member of several boards.
She resides in Brunswick, Maine with her husband and three daughters.
Lee Burkhardt joined the Bowdoin women's volleyball coaching staff in the fall of 2012.
Burkhardt attended Penn State University and graduated with a B.A. in International Politics in 1992. Had played for the Penn State - Lehigh Valley for one season, as well as playing in recreational beach volleyball events in the early-mid 90's. After getting involved in coaching volleyball at the Push the Rock camp in summer of 2006, Burkhardt was most recently at Salem Christian School in Macungie, PA as head JV coach and assistant for varsity.
Lauren Nilsen joined Bowdoin as an assistant coach in the summer
of 2013. A former Division I volleyball player at Duquesne
University, Nilsen earned her degree in Nursing and enlisted as a
Navy Nurse Corps Officer upon graduating in 1994. Since then, she
has enjoyed a decorated playing career in the military, playing 12
seasons for the US Navy Women's Volleyball Team and the US Armed
Forces Volleyball Team, earning several all-tournament honors. In
2011, she was on the first-ever US Military Beach Volleyball Team.
Nilsen and her beach partner were semi-finalists at the 2011
Military World Games in Brazil that comprised of 6,000 military
athletes from over 100 countries (AKA the Peace Games).
Nilsen broke into the coaching ranks in 2012, attending USA Volleyball and Gold Medal Squared Coaching Clinics. She is a USA Volleyball Level I Beach CAP coach. Nilsen was an Assistant Sitting Volleyball Coach at the 2013 US Marines Warrior Trials, leading 80+ wounded, ill and injured US Marines and international troops from eight countries. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Sports Coaching and Sports Psychology. Nilsen grew up on the south shore of Eastern Long Island and she currently resides in Harpswell, Maine.