New men's basketball coach brings diverse resume

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For two decades, Cornell Mann was an assistant coach for men’s basketball teams across the Midwest. The demands of the game and his career ultimately prepared him for his first head coaching position. 

Director of Athletics Keri Becker officially introduced Mann at a news conference on April 7 as the sixth men’s basketball coach in Grand Valley history in front of an audience of family, friends, alumni, supporters and members of the Lakers men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“I counted the number of phone calls I had with people who know coach Mann,” said Becker. “Every single one of them said he is phenomenal in the gym and at developing talent.”

Mann, who was overcome with emotion at several points during his comments, discussed the three “pillars” he focuses on for success. 

“Those three pillars are connect, prepare and lead,” said Mann. “Our staff will connect with the players, the campus community and outside the campus. As a staff, we will prepare our players for everything in life, and we will lead our program in a first-class manner.”

Most recently, Mann was an assistant for five seasons at Missouri for coach Cuonzo Martin. His resume includes assistant coaching stops at Oakland University, Iowa State, Dayton, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

Coach Mann smiles in front of tv cameras

Cornell Mann smiles during a news conference. Mann takes over as head men's basketball coach for Ric Wesley, who resigned after 18 seasons with the Lakers. (Kendra Stanley-Mills)