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Meet Coach Cornelius Anthony | Coach of the Week

Week 3
School: Hightower High School
Years Coaching: 14

How long have you been coaching? Where did your career begin? College\university you attended?

  • I have been coaching for 14 years.
  • 7 of those years I've been a head football coach and campus athletic coordinator. My career began at George Junior High in Lamar Consolidated ISD. I coached there from 2009-2013, from 2013-2017 I coached at Fort Bend Willowridge HS as a coordinator, in 2017 I became the head football coach at Terry HS in LCISD and was at Terry from 2017-2021. In 2021-Present I became the head football coach at Fort Bend Hightower which is where I am currently coaching at.
  • I played football at Texas A&M University where I was a 3 year starter and a 4 year letterman.

Why do you coach? (share coaching philosophy\why you decided to coach on high school level, etc.)

  1. I coach to utilize the platform and influence of sports to positively change the lives of the athletes and coaches under my care. Coaching for me is my ministry. It is a way that I can use the positive core values that sports teaches us to transform the lives of the youth to make our world and our tomorrow a better place. Hard work, discipline, working with others/teamwork, integrity, overcoming adversity, execution amongst many other characteristics are the lessons that we point out and drive home in my athletic program to each of our athletes. We also have a culture of Excellence that we instill in every member of our athletic program which are our 4 Pillars of Excellence. They are:
  2. CLASS: The best of its kind.
  3. CHARACTER: Who you are no matter where you are.
  6. These Pillars serve as guidelines that my athletes as well as our coaches govern our lives by. The goal is for our players and coaches alike to always give and do their absolute best (CLASS). To give their best in any given situation no matter the location on and off the field (CHARACTER). To always put the needs of others and think how any decision or choice I make will affect others who are depending on me, which are my teammates and my family, and put their needs ahead of my own (I AM SECOND). And finally we strive to always do more than what's asked or expected of us (SECOND MILE). When we do those 4 things and live by that code of ethics we will operate in EXCELLENCE! This is why I got into coaching, to make the world a better place by positively affecting those who are under/in my sphere of influence and helping them become the best version of themselves through the platform of sports!

What is the most rewarding\fulfilling part of your job?

The most rewarding and fulfilling part of my job is seeing that At-Risk kid who everyone pretty much has written off buy in to the structure, discipline, and most importantly the love that my program provides and turn their life around, complete 180 about face, and earn a scholarship, go to college, or become a successful business and/or family man! Then after they graduate and are no longer in my program those same students call you and refer to you as dad, ask for marital advice, keep you involved in every aspect of their lives, and become like a child/friend to you for the rest of their lives. Those are the success stories that make all of the pain that we experience in coaching, that come with the territory well worth it.

In your opinion, what is the most misunderstood thing about the coaching profession?

The most misunderstood thing about the coaching profession is that if a child is not playing, or is not playing as much as the parent would like for them to play that it's personal, as if the coaches are out to get that child. I can assure you that coaches coach the game to win. Therefore they are obligated to play the players who they deem best to give them the best chance to win. If they can do that and get mostly if not everyone in then they will do that, but in tight games that may not happen. Either way, the coaches who do this job the way it's supposed to be done sees the value of every child in their program regardless of their playing time. Good coaches know that every child along with their role is important. Just because a child may not play as much in the game does not mean that we as coaches do not like them or see their value any less than the player who never comes out of the game. Just because their role and function on the team may not be what the parent would want or expect does not mean we do not see the value in their child because we do.

Please share the importance of what your staff/ players are doing for your community?

At Hightower HS we are "HOPE" dealers! We provide the infrastructure and love to our players where they have the hope of one day playing college athletics, making good grades, becoming great men, husbands, and fathers, but most importantly sharing that hope that they get from being members of our program with the younger and next generation. We go to our feeder elementaries and read to the children. We open the doors for our car riders in the parent drop off line in the morning as well as greet the bus riders as they walk in the school to start their day off the Hurricane way! We do beautification projects where we pick up trash at their schools. We do STAAR rallies to get the kids pumped up about taking and passing the STAAR test, and we do field day with our elementary feeder schools so that they can have fun with and compete in front of the same kids they look up to and see under the lights every Friday night. Our elementary kids absolutely love our players and the many services they provide throughout the year. We get so much positive feedback from the principals and staff from our feeder schools when we serve them, but the real blessing that occurs is the pure joy our players get from serving in their community. We through service are building future community leaders and pillars of the community by teaching our players the value of giving back to the place that helped mold you into the person you are today!