Doug Cornfoot, Turlock High School’s all-time winningest boys varsity basketball coach, is back at the helm more than two years after retiring. Cornfoot, who previously coached the Bulldogs from 2007 to 2021, accepted an offer to return as the team’s head coach on Sept. 1 following the resignation of Nick Nathanson.
In Cornfoot’s 14 seasons leading the Bulldogs, he achieved a record of 229-172. His teams won three conference championships and made the playoffs in 12 of those 14 campaigns, highlighted by an appearance in the 2010 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals, where they lost to Franklin of Elk Grove.
“When I first left, I truly just needed a break. Twenty years can really take a toll on you,” Cornfoot said, who coached for six years at Delhi prior to his 14 year stint in Turlock. “The break was needed, but that first year off where you don’t do much and find yourself in the wintertime sitting on the couch in the evening watching TV, it got to be kind of boring.”
While remaining a special education teacher and sixth period athletics supervisor, Cornfoot also found himself attending several boys and girls basketball games in his two years off before returning to coach the Turlock girls freshman basketball team last season, leading them to a 3-3 record. It was that experience that he said reignited the fire.
“I had a great group of girls and it made coaching fun and kind of brought back the desire to coach again,” he said. “I think a year or two away to recharge me enough was beneficial. And when the opportunity for this year came up, I decided to jump in again.”
Cornfoot added that the support from his wife, Becky, also helped him take the leap.
“My wife is very supportive when it comes to coaching, so she didn't have any hesitations. And her support has been everything to me,” he said.
As for what to expect from the Bulldogs in his first year back, Cornfoot is cautiously optimistic.
“For the last few years, even though I haven’t been coaching, I’ve been watching them under Nathanson,” he shared. “I also know a lot of the kids because I would have them for sixth period athletics PE, so I know the kids and who they are. And it's been great so far. They've been responsive and receptive to what we're doing. We're a little behind, but as long as they stay patient and buy in, I think we'll be fine.
“This is a good group of guys. We have some good size. We have some kids that can shoot. There’s not a lot of varsity experience coming back from last year, but I'm excited about being around the kids and playing basketball and teaching them basketball. I've always liked to compete. I like just the thrill of being in the competition and being with the kids and instilling being competitive into them.”
Cornfoot and the Bulldogs will get the 2023 season underway Nov. 28 at Manteca.