Pigskin finalist Pierre turns into Coach Cormier after health setback
When the whistle blows, that’s when the players are supposed to stop or go. Pierre Cormier used to be about the action between blows. Now he’s the one controlling the action.
It’s not how it was supposed to be for the four star recruit out of Madison High School. Seven years removed from his final prep snaps, now’s the time he’d be battling for a spot on the depth chart of an NFL roster. The only time Cormier would be sweating it out at the Dick Tomey Practice Fields would be watching his alma mater from the sidelines.
Instead, he’s blowing that whistle again, this time as a graduate assistant defensive coach.
Blood clots in his lungs, discovered after his first season with the Wildcats, put an end to the first phase of Cormier’s collegiate life. They didn’t stop the next phase.
“The last two years of undergrad I joined the staff as a student assistant,” Cormier said. “I was on offense, but I had an opportunity to go to defense for a job as I was about to graduate. Coaching is something I always wanted to do. When I stopped playing, it gave me more time to think what road I wanted to take to make that happen.”
Now that road includes prepping defensive backs for the rigors of the Pac 12. It’s worked out for one corner – and San Diego native. Jace Whittaker is now an Arizona Cardinal, after at one point being a Pierre Cormier teammate. More great stars are on the way. More players for Coach Cormier to turn into professional players and professional people.
“Maybe three years ago is when I finally accepted that I’m a coach…that it’s my job to help the players and coaches get ready for a game,” Cormier said. “I’m always gonna miss playing football. I’m gonna be 50 or 60 and miss playing football.”