Chrys Cornelius has been named as an assistant coach on the men’s basketball staff at Lindenwood University. Cornelius arrives in St. Charles, Mo. with over 20 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level.
Most recently, Cornelius served as the head post-graduate coach at Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Fla., where he was hired by coaching legend Loren Jackson. Under the direction of Cornelius, the Victory Rock Prep team finished 18-9 overall record and a 7-1 mark from within the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA), which is regarded as the toughest post-graduate conference in the nation. Victory Rock captured the SIAA regular-season title during the 2018-19 season.
Cornelius’ team at Victory Rock Prep rostered four players that went on to sign NCAA Division I scholarships; John Dos Anjos (Loyola Marymount), Kolton Mitchell (UMass), Bakari Simmons (Texas A&M), and Cameron Shaw (Morgan State).
Prior to his arrival at Victory Rock Prep, Cornelius served as an assistant coach at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. for the 2017-18 season. During his time at Southern University, Cornelius mentored first-team all-SWAC forward Jared Sam. Cornelius also helped lead the Jaguars to a 15-win season, a 10-8 SWAC record, an 11-3 home record, and a trip to the semifinals of the 2018 SWAC Conference Tournament. Cornelius was also the defensive coordinator for the Jaguars in 2017-18, a season in which they were the top-ranked defensive team in the SWAC, holding opposing teams to a 39 percent field-goal percentage.
Prior to his arrival at Southern University, Cornelius had a two-year stint at Bethune-Cookman University (2015-16 and 2016-17). Cornelius assisted head coach Gravelle Craig, helping to guide the Wildcats to a 16-16 MEAC record, a 16-8 home record, and a third-place finish in the 2015-16 conference standings.
While at Bethune-Cookman, Cornelius helped coach and develop four all-MEAC players, Mario Moody, LaRon Smith, Jordan Potts, and Brandon Tabb. In addition, Tabb was recognized as the MEAC Player of the Year, Smith as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Quinton Forrest was selected to the MEAC all-rookie team.
Off the court, Cornelius mentored eight student-athletes who went on to receive their degrees from Bethune-Cookman and was instrumental in the program earning the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award following the 2015-16 season. Bethune-Cookman was one of just 29 NCAA Division I basketball programs in the country too receive the award, which is given to teams that hold a team GPA of 3.0 or above.
Before arriving at Bethune-Cookman, Cornelius spent five seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he helped lead the Phoenix to a 95-65 record over those five seasons, including a 48-17 record in his final two years. While at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Cornelius helped coach the team in victories over nationally ranked Marquette, Virginia, and Miami.
During his time at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Cornelius coached the team to a Horizon League regular season title in 2014 and three postseason appearances (two NIT’s and one CIT). Cornelius recruited two-time Horizon League Player of the Year Keifer Sykes, and was the lead recruiter that was instrumental in the Phoenix landing Alfonzo McKinnie (Golden State Warriors), Steven Baker, and Khalil Small. Cornelius also coached and helped develop second-team all-horizon league forward Greg Mays and three-time all-horizon league center Alec Brown, who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns.
Along with on-court coaching and recruiting duties, Cornelius handled some of the programs scouting responsibilities. He was also in charge of scheduling. In January 2015, Cornelius was ranked as the top assistant coach in the Horizon League by Next Up Recruits. All told in his Division I career, Cornelius has coached eight 1,000-point scorers and 13 all-conference performers.
Additionally, Cornelius had previous coaching stops at several other institutions: Eastern Illinois (2007-10), Florida A&M (2003-07) in which he helped lead the Rattlers to two NCAA Tournament berths (2004, 2007), and Western Illinois (1996-98 and 2000-03).
A native of Joliet, Illinois, Cornelius attended Joliet Catholic Academy and earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Western Illinois in 1995. He is a lifelong member of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Joliet, Illinois. Cornelius is married to Jennifer and they have two children, Chrystopher and Nicholas.