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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon welcomes new girls basketball coach

Sep 27, 2021 11:54AM ● By Catherine Garrett

The Corner Canyon High School girls basketball team returns this season with new coaches in (from left to right) Abby Kleinman, Craig Morris, Robert Shinall and Jared Miyasaki. (Photo courtesy Craig Morris)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

The Corner Canyon High girls basketball coach will be headed up this season by Craig Morris, who had been with the Cedar Valley High program since its school opened two years ago.

The Chargers are coming off a 13-12 season—with a 3-7 showing in Region 4—that ended in a loss in the second round of the 6A state tournament.

“Coach Morris impressed us with his positivity and energy, as well as his ambition,” said CCHS athletic director Patrick Thurman. “This is a challenging job, but I do believe that he is equipped to handle the challenges and create an environment that will serve the Draper community well.”

Morris said it was hard to consider leaving CVHS after building the 4A program from the ground up and living in Eagle Mountain where the school is, but he was intrigued by the opportunity to coach in Draper among the 6A ranks. He had already coached three CCHS players on an accelerated team and played the Chargers twice while at Cedar Valley so there was some familiarity with Corner Canyon. Ultimately, he had to really convince his family, particularly his 11-year-old son—who came to Aviator practices and every home game—to support the move when he was offered the job.

“Part of me knew that I needed to go somewhere else and this made sense on every level,” Morris said. “I’m so impressed with the administration here who are so invested in these student-athletes and blown away with the parental and community support in Draper. It’s a great fit for me here to help build this program and do something special here.”

Morris added, “I’ve now brought my son to several open gyms and it took my son all of about 10 minutes to be just fine with the change. We’re all so thrilled that I can be at Corner Canyon.”

The former collegiate guard at Dixie State has been coaching AAU basketball for years before entering the high school ranks in 2018. His philosophy has been molded over the years and focuses on life lessons, including communication and being part of a team. “I want to help them develop their skill sets and find their role on the team with the strengths that they individually have,” Morris said. “They will get accolades—public or private—that they deserve from the work that they put in. We’ll win some and we’ll lose some, but at the end of the day, my hope is that everyone in my program feels loved and valued.”

Thurman said that Morris has “hit the ground running” this summer, including taking the players to a Dixie State summer camp where the varsity team was the two-minute champion, the JV squad won their full bracket and the sophomore team, with all freshmen, had a winning record for the week as well.

“The coaching staff is high on this whole program,” Morris said. “The players have embraced the change. They come, they work and we adore them.”