Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee: Aaron Corp '07

After leading the Lancers to three league titles and two CIF titles, Orange Lutheran alumnus Aaron Corp ’07 put an exclamation point on a record-setting high school football career when he quarterbacked OLu to the school’s first and only California state football championship in 2006.


Corp’s skills and leadership helped to solidify OLu’s place in the newly formed Trinity League, and in recognition of his achievements, he will be honored this summer as one of 11 inductees in the Orange Lutheran Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023.


Football was not Corp’s first sport. After playing soccer, baseball and basketball growing up, he finally got to try football as an eighth grader, and it didn’t start out as he would have hoped.


Corp immediately knew he wanted to play quarterback, but the coaches had other ideas and slotted him in as a receiver. Not one to give up, each time he caught the ball in the receiver line, instead of running it back, he threw it as hard as he could.


His arm strength eventually caught the attention of the coaches, and Corp was given the opportunity to show what he could do. Four games in, his season ended with a broken collarbone.


Fast forward to his first year at OLu on the freshman football team, and Corp secured the starting quarterback job. Despite breaking his thumb and missing several games, the Lancers went undefeated that season, giving a glimpse of the talented roster that would later make its way into the OLu record books.


Unlike the other sports he had played up to that point, Corp saw something unique in football – a true team sport that requires cohesion and chemistry unlike any other.


“It's one of the few sports, if not the only sport, especially on offense, where you have to have 11 guys on the field do their job, exactly and correctly, for something to work,” said Corp. “To me, that's the challenge of it and the thing that I like the most about it. You have to get 11 guys to come together and be as one and execute in order for something to work.”


Corp moved up to OLu’s varsity squad his sophomore year where he was slated to be the backup quarterback. But when the starter tore his ACL during training camp, the then 15-year old unexpectedly found himself thrust into the spotlight as QB1 for the Lancers.


Nervous and carrying the heavy weight of expectations on his shoulders, Corp will never forget how the senior class that year put their collective trust in him to lead them to a CIF championship. Despite losing their first game to Mater Dei, the Lancers would not lose again that season and captured the 2004 CIF title, the first in program history.


That championship started a run under Corp’s leadership that led to three league titles, two CIF titles and California’s first Division II State Championship in 2006. He won the 2006 Glenn Davis Award for the best Southern California high school football player and was named 2006 CIF Player of the Year.

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“I think we knew we were going to be good,” said Corp of the 2006 roster. “And for whatever reason, I remember that group of guys was willing to do whatever it took for each other. I've been on a bunch of teams as a player and a coach, and it’s rare to feel like that for the whole group. We really were a family, and we hung out together all the time. That was special.”


Corp also played basketball for the Lancers, the sport he refers to as his “first joy.” But it was the college football coaches who came calling. The top-tier recruit played at USC before transferring to the University of Richmond.


While at Richmond, Corp suffered a knee injury that forced him to change his game. With less mobility and speed after his recovery, he became more of a pro-style, pocket passer. This adjustment led to opportunities at the NFL level after graduation, including going undrafted to the Buffalo Bills, as well as stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.


Ironically enough, Corp’s football playing career ended the same way it began – with a broken collarbone while with the Dolphins in 2013.


But the end of one chapter became the beginning another, as Corp embarked on his football coaching career, first at Virginia State University, then Norfolk State University and back at the University of Richmond.


In the spring of 2021, he received a call from Rod Sherman who had just been hired as OLu’s new head football coach. Sherman was the offensive coordinator during Corp’s time as a Lancer, and he wanted his former QB to return to his high school alma mater and join the coaching staff.


Corp now serves as OLu’s varsity offensive coordinator and saw success in his first season back with the Lancers when they won the 2021 CIF-SS Division 2 championship, the first CIF title for the program since Corp himself was under center.


While the path his football career took was at times both exceptional and unexpected, Corp credits his time at OLu for building his faith and the foundation he needed to navigate the ups and downs of his college and pro careers, as well as prepare him to transition into the coaching role.


“A lot of it was how to deal with adversity, and those are some of the things that I had to learn here (at OLu),” said Corp. “Being injured, going through stuff where you have to bounce back and continue to work hard and just continue to keep pushing, I definitely learned that here. A lot of that is a credit to Coach (Kunau), the things that he instilled in us and the things that he preached all the time.”


Corp does not take lightly the honor of being celebrated for such a pivotal time in Orange Lutheran’s athletic history and to experience this alongside his sister and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Lauren Corp ’09. While he did not expect to return to OLu in this capacity, he is humbled to be part of serving the next generation of Lancer football student athletes.


“It means a lot,” said Corp of the Hall of Fame selection. “I think it's special to be recognized and honored for something that you worked hard for while you were here.”


Header photo credit: Getty Images

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