The Turlock High School boys basketball program will look a bit different next season as its leader, Doug Cornfoot, retires from coaching the varsity team.
After 15 years and three league championships, Cornfoot decided to hang it up following the COVID-shortened 2020 season, where the Bulldogs finished third in Central California Athletic League play with a 5-4 record.
After 20 total years of coaching, which included five years at Delhi High School before he came to Turlock, Cornfoot noted that the decades had taken a toll on his body and resulted in many sleepless nights. The absence of summer ball last year helped him realize it was time to step back from the sport, he said.
“It’s time to let a new voice come in. Somebody who’s young and hungry, just like I was when I first started,” he said.
Though there’s plenty for Cornfoot to brag about from his time as the boys varsity basketball coach, including a trip to Arco Arena in 2010, there’s one record he’s the proudest of.
“We finished 26-10 against Pitman. That was a goal of mine,” he laughed.
Cornfoot reflected on his luck of working with the “best group” of assistant coaches, who he spent time with not only during practices and games, but outside of competition as well. He played college basketball at Stanislaus State and was never surprised to see former fans of his attend Bulldog games, though they had no ties to Turlock High.
From the student body to the community’s support of the program, Cornfoot said coaching in Turlock was the most fun he’s ever had. His favorite memories include the trip to Arco, which saw the entire school show up to send them off on their way to the game, as well as the crosstown rivalry with the Pride.
“When you go to a Pitman versus Turlock game and it’s a packed house, it just makes it fun to coach,” he said. “It was always a sellout crowd no matter which gym we were playing in.”
While it’s impossible to know if the next boys basketball coach will become a 20-year coaching veteran like Cornfoot, whoever takes the helm of the program can count on these wise words from the former coach.
“Be prepared for hard work,” Cornfoot said. “But it’s rewarding.”
Along with his time as coach at Turlock High, Cornfoot will also leave his legacy at his alma mater, Stanislaus State. He, along with the entire 1982 Men’s Basketball team were inducted into the Warrior Hall of Fame in 2015.
The 1982 Men's Basketball Team reached the NCAA Division III Final Four after three pulsating victories in the NCAA tournament played in front of standing-room only crowds at Warrior Gym.
Dubbed the "Beach Boys," the team was led by a starting lineup of Cornfoot, Rico Thompson, David Walls, David Atkins and Curt Wooden. The starting five averaged between 13.7 and 11.2 points with the sixth man, Lee Lewis, adding 9.7 points a game.