Getting reacquainted with the Milk Man, Utah Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin.
When Tyrone Corbin gets hungry, he hits the Bayleaf on Main Street. “You can certainly enjoy a good bowl of greens there,” the South Carolina native and Utah Jazz head coach says. Now, seven years into his second stint as a Beehive resident, Corbin has made Salt Lake home.
Having lived in nine different cities during his 15-year NBA career, Corbin offers a portrait of a basketball life come full circle. He was originally traded to Utah in 1991 for Thurl Bailey, 20 years before he would replace legendary Jerry Sloan as head coach. “I wanted to let the fans know this franchise didn’t make a mistake by having me replace Thurl,” he says.
Corbin won over the crowd with his hustle and made a name for himself—literally. Fans dubbed Corbin the “Milk Man” after he became the spokesperson for the Utah Dairy Farmers’ milk mustache campaign. While he grabbed rebounds and chugged milk, he and wife Dante began to raise a family. They enrolled their daughter in a Montessori school and introduced son Tyrell to the world. But in 1994, just as they got comfortable, Corbin was traded to Atlanta.
A decade later, Corbin returned to Utah as assistant coach. “I’m a little bit more in the community now,” he says, comparing coaching to his playing days.“It’s a great community and a lot more diverse than people give it credit for.”
As Corbin’s coaching career blossoms, so has his son’s basketball future. Tyrell, a star at West High School, now plays at University of California, Davis. “I used to take him to the gym because he wanted to do what Dad did,” Corbin recalls. “He was a kid, so I detached the coach part and just enjoyed being with my son.”
Now Corbin follows Tyrell from afar as he tries to guide the Jazz back to the playoffs. But, will Tyrell, who lives just 15 minutes from Sacramento, still root for the Jazz when they play the Kings? “I certainly hope so,” the coach laughs.