The motivation is pure love and admiration for their former coach.
Just over a year ago, Major “Tuffy” Corley – longtime coach of the Monessen High School Girls’ Basketball Team – unexpectedly passed away.
His loss left a void in the community of Monessen and in the lives of many of his former players.
Two of those players, Alicia (Stein) Galis and Carly (Cocciolone) Thompson, played a leading role in honoring Corley and ensuring that his memory and goodwill endure in the community of Monessen.
The two have established the “Major ‘Tuffy’ Corley Memorial Scholarship” and are holding a t-shirt sale. The $ 15 jersey honors Corley and his successful coaching career and leadership role in the community.
The back of the t-shirts are adorned with Corley’s photo and career record. There are two options for the front of t-shirts – including a full design on the front or on the left chest.
Galis said she will be placing orders until January.
A t-shirt order form and other information is available at: www.Coachcorleyscholarship.com. T-shirts can be paid for by check via regular mail, PayPal @coachcorleyscholar or Venmo @coachcorleyscholar.
The one-year Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a senior female basketball player from Monessen.
According to Galis, the vision of the scholarship “is to bring the community together every year to honor our coach and keep his Greyhound spirit alive.”
Galis added that the scholarship “will also donate a portion of the fundraising profits to another community association, which will be chosen each year.”
Galis said the stock market chose Monessen’s Midget League basketball.
“When Tuffy died I was in the dumps,” said Galis, the 2004 Monessen PIAA Championship top scorer. “I contacted former Lady Greyhounds star Charel (Allen) and we talked about catching up with former teammates on a Zoom call.
“We remembered and thought it would be nice to honor him somehow,” she added. “We talked about it and decided it would be best to honor it by giving back to the community and having a positive impact on a young athlete.”
Galis said she was still heartbroken over the sudden death of her former coach.
“The community has remembered him for the past year,” she said. “The name change of the basketball court, the memorial golf outing and the memorial scholarship, among others. I know he’s smiling with that memorable smile.
Thompson said it was important to honor Corley by continuing her long-standing commitment to student-athletes, sports and the girls’ program.
“We just wanted to honor him by trying to do something that he would always try to do,” she said. “Tuffy founded and spent a lot of time on the midget ‘Future Lady Greyhounds’ program. The university program has benefited from his hard work.
Galis and Thompson set up a table at the Monessen Athletic Department Delvin Miller, Major Corley and Danny Bergstedt Memorial Golf Outing in June at the Chippewa Golf Course in Bentleyville.
“It was a fun day at the memorial golf outing,” said Galis. “It was so great to see so many familiar faces. “I thank everyone who supported the Memorial Scholarship by purchasing t-shirts. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support we have from our Greyhound community. “
Galis said she was grateful for the personal donations to the scholarship fund and that the committee was considering future fundraisers such as a festival with food trucks and a basketball camp or clinic for young players.
“When Tuffy died, I lost a little piece of myself,” Galis said. “He was such an important figure in my life. I was lucky enough to be a part of the glory days. It is important for me to honor his memory and to do the job that he has always done.