Before Jack Cornell strolled the sidelines as Quincy Notre Dame’s football coach, he was a dominant player on the field.
Cornell, a 2007 graduate, earned three letters in football and four in wrestling. He was a first-team all-conference pick as a senior and a two-time All-Area selection by The Herald-Whig. He was a two-time All-State selection by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, as well as the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Champaign News-Gazette. He was named to the Max Emfinger All-American team in 2006. He was ranked as the 12th best recruit in Illinois and the 37th-best offensive tackle lineman nationally by Rivals.com. He was a four-star recruit by Scout.com, and he played in the Illinois Shrine Bowl as a senior.
At the University of Illinois, Cornell was a member of the Rose Bowl team in 2007. He was a three-year letterman and a two-year starter on the offensive line. He also played on two more bowl teams during his career with the Fighting Illini. He was voted as a team captain in 2011 and was the Red Grange Award winner.
Cornell was in the National football League for two seasons. He was a member of the 2012 Baltimore Ravens, which won Super Bowl 47. The Ravens released Cornell in August 2013, and he signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders in September 2013.
Cornell now is the head football coach and a physical education and health teacher at Quincy Notre Dame. He and his wife, Lauren, have a son, Troy.
"I am humbled by this tremendous honor. I want to thank every teammate, coach, trainer, educator and supporter I had through my four years at Quincy Notre Dame. I want to thank my wife, Lauren, for being with me every step of the way through my football journey. I also want to thank my parents, John and Helen Cornell, for putting their faith in action by sending my brother and I through tremendous Catholic institutions. While at QND, I was blessed to compete for two Hall of Fame coaches in Bill Connell and Ken Mansell. I consider myself lucky for their enduring friendship and mentorship. I would not have wanted to compete for anyone else.
I would be remiss if I did not give special thanks to Sister Jeanette Feldott. Her guidance and tutoring through my years at QND unlocked the door to continue my athletic career in college. Sister is truly a gift from God, and I would not be where I am today without her in my life. Quincy Notre Dame is such a special place to me and so many others. This school helped propel me to achieve every goal I have set for myself. Go Raiders!"
-Jack Cornell '07