By Tony Adams
Following legends are never easy. Jimmy Johnson was tasked to replace Tom Landry in Dallas. Bill Cowher was hired to replace Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh. Bill Russell was hired to replace Tommy Lasorda in Los Angeles. Expectations are always high.
Eddie Cornblum experienced some of the same scrutiny when he replaced the legendary David Tidwell as head coach in 2008. Tidwell coached the team for 22 seasons and was at the helm of Belton’s last state championship in any team sport, being the 1994 Class 4A State Champion baseball team.
Cornblum won five district championships in eight years at Belton and announced his resignation on Monday to accept the head coaching position at Waco Midway. The Midway ISD school board accepted the recommendation on Tuesday night. Former Midway head coach Paul Offill has moved on to accept a principal’s position within the district.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Cornblum said. “With Deena taking a position at Region 12 (Education Service Center), it’s the right move. It was not an easy decision and it was one that I talked to my family about over the past four or five days.”
The Tigers won district titles in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. They finished in second in 2016 with a 10-2 record and overall record of 21-12, falling in the area round to Dallas Jesuit in three games. The Rangers went on to capture the Texas UIL Class 6A championship.
Cornblum’s coaching record at Belton was 183-88-1 record (.661 winning percentage). The Midway job will be his first away from the Belton/Temple area since he moved to Belton in 1992 to attend UMHB from Poway, a northern suburb of San Diego, California.
“A lot of the rewards that I have had in Belton don’t come from the wins and the losses,” Cornblum said. “They come from the relationships and the unbelievable community and the people I coach with every day and teach with in the school building.”
Cornblum was instrumental in putting together the Home Run 4 Health/McLane Champion Children games, which were for a long time a district rivalry game between the Tigers and Temple Wildcats. He takes his high energy coaching across the district lines to the Tigers’ co-rivals in District 8-6A in Waco Midway. He broke the news to the team on Monday and he wanted to be up front and honest about it.
“There were some things I wanted them to understand, and I wanted them to hear it from me,” Cornblum said. “There’s mixed emotions. Some of the players will be excited, upset and confused. But I wanted to be the first one to tell them. Communication is key. Honesty is the best policy.”
Cornblum’s departure comes on the heels of the upcoming football season, which is two months off. He was one of the freshman coaches.