A tumor was found on Corley's neck last spring, but he continued to coach through the season, as much as his health would allow.
“Right in front of their eyes, they watched a guy go through chemotherapy and radiation,” head coach Gary Rose said. “They watched him get thin and gaunt and be weak, and still come to practice every day.
“Mike got to live out what we teach — toughness, perseverance, fight the fight, battle. What we want to teach in football is more than just wins, and Mike Corley has lived that out in front of this team, and that's a major part of why this team is where it is right now.”
The Titans will face Tulsa East Central for the Class 5A state championship at 7:30 Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. That night, Corley and the Titans will be more focused on strategy and schemes to contain Stanvon Taylor and the rest of the Cardinals' dangerous playmakers.
But Corley's inspiring victory over cancer won't be totally forgotten.
“It keeps us going, watching him fighting for us out here, trying to coach us up,” Thompson said. “It's just amazing to see him out here with everything he's had to go through. We're playing for him.”