the poolside scholar How a Doctor of Law ended up teaching government and coaching one of the most successful sports programs at Dexter High School


FROM swim coach, government teacher, trivia master, Doctor of Law, to loving father, it’s safe to say Cory Bergen, or Dr. Bergen, is a man of many talents.

In fact he has always balanced many activities at once. Growing up and in high school he was a three sport athlete, participating in golf, swim, and baseball.

“I always had practice after school. It was just a way of life.” Bergen said.

Bergen grew up right down the road in Ypsilanti and led a fun-filled childhood.

For college he decided to stay in his hometown and attend Eastern Michigan University to get his bachelor’s in business.

During his education at EMU, he was an assistant swim coach at his alma mater Willow Run.

“I developed a love for coaching and forming relationships during [that] time” Bergen said.

After graduation, Bergen decided to continue his education the University of Maryland law school.

“I never grew up wanting to be a lawyer, but I was looking at my options, and I wanted more of an academic challenge” Bergen said.

He continued his love for trivia while getting his law degree and was even the two-time campus-wide trivia champion of all graduate students.

After working as a corporate lawyer for four years in Baltimore, he decided that he missed the sense of connection he once felt as a coach.

This led him to pursue a teaching degree back at Eastern. When it was time for his student teaching placement, a complete fluke led him to Dexter High School.

“The person who was setting us up with student teaching positions totally dropped my file. So everyone is getting their placements and I’m trying to figure out mine. At the last minute he reaches out to Susie Walters who hadn’t taken a student teacher in 10 years, but she looked at my file and decided to take me.” Bergen said of the mishap.

It was because of this positive experience that he decided to apply for a social studies position, and assistant swim coach, after earning his third degree.

Bergen has now been teaching social studies and coaching the swim team at Dexter High School for over 20 years.

This immense experience has earned him 21 SEC championships, 2 state championships, and 2015 Coach of the Year.

“He’s always very understanding with everyone and clearly shows how much he supports you in acheiving your goals.” -Elizabeth Merz

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