Brian Corcoran was born in Caherlag, Glounthaune, County Cork in 1973. He was educated at the local primary school, Midleton CBS and Cork Regional Technical College where he qualified with an honours degree in Computer Applications. He currently works as an IT Manager. In his youth Corcoran showed a natural talent as an all-round sportsman. Naturally he played hurling and Gaelic football with his local club, however, he also played soccer with Leeside F.C. as well as being an accomplished snooker player, golfer and attained a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. Corcoran's talent at Gaelic games quickly reaped rewards, and he won a number of East Cork under-12 and under-14 honours in both codes. It was during his tenure at MidletonCBS, however, that his flair for hurling really developed. In 1987 he captained the school hurling side to victory in the Rice Cup, before joining the Cork under-14 hurling team for the Tony Forrestal tournament. More success came in 1988 when Corcoran made the school's Harty Cup team and made it all the way to the final before being beaten by St. Kieran's College from Kilkenny.
A few weeks after the Harty Cup defeat Corcoran was invited to try out for the Cork minor hurling team. As he was only 15 years-old at the time he reluctantly declined, however, he was persuaded at the second time of asking a few weeks later. To his surprise he was immediately accepted onto the panel and the starting fifteen. Corcoran won a Munster minor title after just a few weeks as a player, however, his side lost the All-Ireland final to Kilkenny. In 1989 Corcoran's minor hurling adventure was short-lived as Cork lost the first of the Munster Championship. He was later invited onto the Cork minor football team, however, there was no joy for Corcoran as a footballer in 1989 either.
In 1990 Corcoran was now a major fixture on both the minor hurling and football sides. With the footballers he lost the Munster final, however, he won his second Munster minor hurling medal. The All-Ireland final against Kilkenny ended in a draw, however, Corcoran broke his ankle in a Junior B club game the week before the replay which Cork lost. It was around this time that Corcoran was coming under pressure from his local club, Erin's Own to join the senior panel. However, since he was only 17 years-old he decided to wait another year. When he did join the club's senior team in 1991 Corcoran immediately came to the attention of the Cork senior hurling selectors who invited him to play a challenge game against Dublin. He was even more impressive in the challenge game and was nearly picked on the Cork team that was to play in the Munster final. However, since Corcoran had only played one senior county game and a challenge match he was left out of the team. Corcoran did win Munster and All-Ireland honours with the minor footballers that year, before rounding off the year with a Munster under-21 hurling title.
In 1992 Corcoran became a regular feature on the Cork senior hurling team in National Hurling League games. He impressed the selectors so much during these games that he made his senior championship debut in the Munster Final that year. His opposite number was Pat Fox, the 1991 Hurler of the Year and a two-time All-Ireland medal winner. Corcoran completely outplayed Fox and ended the day with his first senior Munster Championship medal. Corcoran's side later qualified for the All-Ireland final, which they lost to a Kilkenny team once again. The year finished on a high for Corcoran. His club side, Erin's Own, won the Cork County Championship for the very first time against all the odds. As a result of this victory Erin's Own had the choice of naming the Cork captain for the following year and Corcoran was their first choice. More accolades were to come for Corcoran as he was awarded the prestigious Texaco Hurler of the Year award. It was only the fourth time in the history of the award that a non-All-Ireland winning player claimed the award. He was also the youngest person ever to win the Texaco award, a record which still stands. Corcoran also won his first All-Star Award in 1992 at Corner Back.
As captain in 1993, Corcoran led Cork to a National Hurling League title, however, the side lost their Munster title. It was the beginning of a barren spell for Cork's hurlers, however, in 1993 Corcoran joined the senior Gaelic football team. In his first year he won a Munster Championship title before losing the All-Ireland final to Derry. Corcoran claimed his second consecutive Munster football medal in 1994, as well as Munster and All-Ireland Under-21 football medals. It was three Munster football medals in-a-row for Corcoran in 1995, however, Dublin were victorious in the All-Ireland semi-final. Corcoran remained on the football team until 1998 when he retired to concentrate on his hurling career which was on the way up, beginning with a National League title in 1998.
By 1999 the Cork hurlers's period in the doldrums was over. A victory over Clare brought Corcoran his second Munster senior hurling medal since 1992. Cork eventually went on to win the All-Ireland final with one of the youngest teams of all-time. Corcoran had finally secured the elusive All-Ireland medal at senior level. Corcoran rounded off the year with as second All-Star at Centre Back and a second Texaco Hurler of the Year award. In 2000 Cork were still the standard-bearers and Corcoran claimed a third Munster hurling medal. Following Cork's shock defeat at the hands of Offaly in the All-Ireland semi-final of Corcoran announced that he was contemplating retiring from the game. He remained on the panel for the 2001 championship but injury meant that he played little part. At the end of the season he dropped a bombshell and announced that he was quitting inter-county hurling, but would continue to play for his club, Erin's Own, for another season.
In retirement Corcoran withdrew completely from the life of an inter-county star. He concentrated on his family life and career and didn't attend any hurling or football games. In 2003 the new hurling manager, Donal O'Grady, approached Corcoran asking him to return to the senior team. Corcoran's answer was an emphatic "no," however, following Cork's loss to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final Corcoran began to have second thoughts. He started training over the winter and let it be known that he intended to return to club and inter-county hurling.
In 2004 Corcoran made an amazing comeback onto the Cork hurling team. Given his protracted absence from the game he was taking a huge gamble in making himself available. He made his second 'debut' for Cork as a substitute in a National League game against Waterford in the spring of 2004. His coming out of retirement was met with a warm welcome from all of Cork's hurling supporters. His absence from the game for two years meant that he wasn't named in the starting line-up for the 2004 Munster championship game against Limerick, however, when Cork were struggling in the second-half Corcoran was introduced as a substitute and went on to score a memorable point from his knees. While the side later lost the Munster final Cork went on to win the All-Ireland title. It was Corcoran's second All-Ireland medal and an All-Star at full forward soon followed. His gamble had paid off. In 2005 Cork became the standard-bearers in hurling. Corcoran won a fourth Munster title before winning a second consecutive All-Ireland title - his third in all.
By 2006 thoughts had turned to Cork completing the three-in-a-row. Corcoran had contemplated retiring again following the 2005 final, however, he decided to stay on for one more season. Corcoran won another Munster medal, however, although Cork reached the All-Ireland final again, they were stopped in their bid for three-in-a-row. Immediately thoughts turned to Corcoran's retirement from the game again, however, he remained tight-lipped. Later in 2006 his club, Erin's Own won the Cork County Championship for a second time. In spite of being the front-runner to be named captain of the senior hurling team in 2007 Corcoran announced his inter-county retirement in November 2006 at the launch of his autobiography 'Every Single Ball.' He continued to play with Erin's Own in the Munster club championship, however, following their loss to Toomevara in the Munster club final he ended his club hurling career.
In November 2006, Corcoran published his autobiography, Every Single Ball: The Brian Corcoran Story.