Mark Cornelius has been promoted to head coach of the Falcon Basketball Team. Coach Cornelius assumes the position following the resignation of Coach Marty Smith. During the past year and especially in recent months, Coach Smith’s parents have experienced a decline in health which has created a situation where Coach Smith needs to be back to Birmingham as the caregiver for his parents.
Mark Cornelius began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama from 1988-1990. During his time at Alabama, he was responsible for scouting, player development and practice. While a graduate assistant at Alabama, Alabama saw (2 Sweet-Sixteen appearances, 2 SEC tournament titles, and 2 NCAA Tournament Bids.
Coach Cornelius then served as Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Shelton State Community College (1990-1998). While at Shelton State, he oversaw all men’s and women’s sports (basketball, softball, baseball, golf). He oversaw staffing and budgeting for all sports. He set up and developed the school’s first basketball program in 1990. While at Shelton State, the university made it to the Regional Semi-Finals in 1993 and 1998.
From 1998-2008, Cornelius served as Head Boy’s Basketball Coach, Assistant Football Coach, Head Girls Golf coach, Head Coach JV Girls Soccer at Mountain Brook High School. When Cornelius was the Spartans’ boys coach, he averaged 20 wins per season, led them to 3 Elite 8 Appearances, five regional Sweet Sixteen appearances and a Final Four berth in 2001. His 2005 team won 28 games, which set a school record. He left as the Spartans’ winningest boys head coach.
From 2008 to 2011 Cornelius served as Head Boys Basketball Coach, Head Freshman Football, Head Cross Country and Head Boys Golf at Gardendale High School. In 2011, returned to Mountain Brook as the Head Girls Basketball Coach, Assistant Freshman Football and Head JV Girls Soccer Coach. While at Mountain Brook, Cornelius saw 5 straight 20 win seasons, 5 consecutive Sweet-Sixteen Appearances and 3 Area Titles.
Cornelius retired in 2017 to join Marty Smith’s staff here at LCHS. Cornelius’s promotion provides an excellent track record of success and allows the program continuity with the players as well as building on the foundation laid by Smith. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Montevallo and his masters from the University of Alabama. Cornelius is married to Donna and they have two children Chase and Lexi. Cornelius and his wife Donna look forward to getting involved in the community.
Garth Garris, LCHS principal stated that would like to thank Coach Smith for two great years here at LCHS and wish him and his family the best. I hope with him returning home that he will be better able to take care of his family.
Mr. Garris went on to say that we are excited to have Coach Cornelius take over the boys program at LCHS. He has served as an assistant the past two years here and provides our program with continuity as we move forward. We look forward to to the future of the boys program with Coach Cornelius at the helm.