Cornwall brings thunder from down under


Sam Johnson , Reporter

The Boys basketball team went through a very interesting offseason, and one change was the addition of a 6’6 Australian Coach. Gregg Cornwall has been an English Teacher at Durango High school for several years, but recently was added to the DHS coaching staff. Due to his height, you can probably pick him out of a crowd, but you may not know that he is now the Boys Basketball Junior Varsity Head Coach.

Last year’s JV head coach left after some commotion, so the JV team was lacking a coach for portions of last year. Two college students will be joining Cornwall on the court so they can finish their degree by being an intern coach for a year.

Basketball has always been a part of Cornwall’s life. “I started playing when I was eight. I represented my country for [my] last two years in Junior Basketball,” said Cornwall.

Representing his country meant that he played basketball for Australia and played against other countries, almost like the junior olympics. Besides playing, Cornwall has some experience with coaching as well.

“I coached at a state level in Australia, which would be the equivalent to an All-Colorado team, and I was the head coach of that for 1 year,” said Cornwall.

Cornwall left that job to focus on academics and attend college, but he later coached the boys and girls varsity at a high school in Sydney for three years. He then made his way to DHS, but has yet to experience any competitive basketball in America.

This offseason, the Boys Varsity head Coach,  Alan Batiste, retired from coaching. Though several applied, there were complications, and Batiste ended up returning as head coach for this season.

It’s not all fun and games for the new coach, as he explained the difficulties of being a full time English teacher and now a basketball coach.

“It’s a grading thing like reading essays and a lot of extended writing responses, as well as dedicating six days a week to basketball. I mean, if you’re a core subject teacher, that’s already a huge time commitment,” said Cornwall.

A lot of players had very positive things to say about their new coach.

Max Warman, a So. player had a lot of positive comments about Cornwall. “I really like Coach Cornwall. He’s got the right amount of seriousness and kindness to be a good coach and a role model,”

Lawrence Reed, another So. player, is playing JV for his second year.

“We’ve really started to come together as a team after our first two games were losses. I credit Cornwall with that a lot,”

Out of the 4 JV players that were interviewed, they all had compliments for the latest addition. According to them, they are hoping he will continue to coach.

According to Cornwall, there is no end to his coaching in the near future.

“At this point, I’m committed to Durango High School. I’m here to learn all of the CHSAA system and how all that operates because all of my basketball and coaching experience is from Australia, and the systems are completely different,” said Cornwall.


Despite the challenges, he would be ready to increase his role. “Having said that, I have no immediate intentions and if I had the opportunity to coach full time, I would definitely love to take that,” said Cornwall.

He believes that right now he is developing himself as a coach because he is still adjusting to American Basketball. He would love to be the Head of a Basketball program, but thinks he still has a lot to learn before he can take one over.

With all of the excitement and change happening around the Boys Basketball Program, it seems like Coach Cornwall was a solid addition to the coaching staff.