Tyler Cornell, Kane County Recreation Director, was one of six winners out of 1000 nominees for the Utah Jazz Sportsmanship Director/Coach of the Year Award. A parent, whose daughter was coached in Jr. Jazz by Cornell, nominated him. The names of those submitting nominations are not publicized, so Cornell does not know which parent sent in the form. The nominator applauds Cornell for giving each girl on the team equal playing, regardless of their skill or talent, which boosts confidence, and says, “I saw our team of 5-6 grade girls, some who had never touched a ball, go from zero to 100 percent confidence, built simply because their coach believed they could do it!”

A heartwarming anecdote included in the nomination happened when Cornell had Jayci Glover on his team last year. Cornell’s goal was that every girl on his team make at least one game basket during the season. The parent states, “Jayci was the only one on his team who hadn’t made a basket by the last game. Tyler huddled his team of girls in the fourth quarter and said, ‘I don’t care if we win or lose, pass the ball to Jayci. She still needs her basket.’ Jayci got her basket! I wish you could have seen the entire crowd go wild as this beautiful little girl smiled ear to ear.”

The parent says the reason for sharing this story is that Cornell chose Jayci’s little sister Halle to be on his team this year. “Halle has been through a lot, watching her sister battle cancer this last year. Tyler was very sensitive to her, yet encouraged her and helped her confidence with lots of playing time. Their team yell after a huddle was often ‘TEAM JAYCI!’ He truly is a remarkable coach with a gift for seeing the bigger picture.”

The parent also recognized Cornell for his new appointment to the new Kanab/Kane County Recreation Director position, stating Cornell did an outstanding job before his new position, and now brings his abilities to work with people, compassion for youth, and love for recreation to even more people. Despite all the work to pave the road for this new position, Cornell still found time to volunteer to help with Jr. Jazz, easing the burden for youth sign-ups, selecting coaches, forming teams.

“He was even able to recruit an eighth grade team with only a couple of sign-ups in the beginning. With his new busy schedule, he even signed up to be a coach!” the parent wrote.

The award given to Tyler Cornell brings honor to our entire community. We are fortunate to count him among our professionals, parents, and volunteers, who make the Kanab area a fine place to raise kids.