MSHS grad Cornelius took Yuba team to new heights
Mount Shasta High School graduate Doug Cornelius said his 2011-12 Yuba College men’s basketball team had a season “like something out of Hoosiers.”
Winning conference championships is nothing new for the 1988 MSHS grad, who has now guided Yuba to six titles in a row.
His teams have been to the California Community College Athletic Association Elite 8 four times since 2004, but this was the first year they took it all the way to the state championship game.
In his 11th year leading the Yuba men’s team, Cornelius shared state Coach of the Year honors, and Yuba guard Spencer Butterfield was one of three state Players of the Year.
Cornelius said this year’s team wasn’t his most talented, but they were “the epitome of a group that played together and won... a never-say-die go-for-it team... It was unbelievable, like something out of Hoosiers.”
He said the community “was going crazy” with enthusiasm for the team, and celebrations of their accomplishments continued for weeks after they lost to Fresno in the March 11 state championship game, 77-62, in Sacramento.
Cornelius said he received a flood of congratulatory emails, letters and cards.
Playing a Fresno team led by former College of the Siskiyous coach Ed Madec, Cornelius estimated that a majority of the 3,000 seats at Cosumnes River College were filled with Yuba fans for the championship game.
Yuba had a 22-game winning streak going into the final and finished the season 33-4. Most of those wins came after their best player suffered a season-ending torn ACL seven games into the season, Cornelius said.
Doug’s father, Al, moved away from Mount Shasta a few years ago, but Doug still comes back to visit every Fourth of July, getting together with his former MSHS teammates including Tony Franchi, Kelly Cross, Kelly Peterson, Joel Moerer, and Scott Waite. He also remains friends with Jason Sehorn, the Mount Shasta grad who played in a Super Bowl during his NFL career and helped fund a renovation of the Bears' football field and track facility.
A full-time teacher at Yuba College, Doug and his wife, Victoria, have two children, 9 year old Maggie and Cooper, age 6.