Brad Cornelsen

  • Brad
  • Cornelsen

  • Offensive Coordinator &
    Quarterbacks Coach
The Cornelsen File
Experience: 18th season, 1st at Virginia Tech
Hometown: Texhoma, Okla.
High School: Texhoma
College: Missouri Southern State (2000)
Playing Exp: Missouri Southern State (1995-98)
Family: Wife – Jaimi; Son – Wyatt

Coaching History
2016Virginia TechOffensive Coordinator/QBs
2015MemphisCo-Offensive Coordinator/QBs
2009-11Northeastern StateOffensive Coordinator
2008Oklahoma StateQuality Control
2007Illinois StateQuarterbacks
2003-06Illinois StateWide Receivers
2002Oklahoma StateGraduate Asst.
2001Oklahoma State (fall)Graduate Asst.
2001NW Missouri State (spring)Graduate Asst.
2000Northeastern StateStudent Asst.
1999Missouri Southern StateStudent Asst.

Bowl Games/Playoffs Coached (5 Games)
2014Miami BeachMemphis
2008HolidayOklahoma State
2007Illinois StateFCS Playoffs
2002HoustonOklahoma State

Coaching Highlights

  • Prolific collegiate quarterback enters his second season serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Virginia Tech.
  • Under Cornelsen’s direction, Virginia Tech tied or broke 10 offensive single-season records in his debut season with the Hokies.
  • With Cornelsen calling the plays in 2016, the Hokies tied or set school bests in points (490), total TDs (61), first downs (330), passing first downs (172), TD passes (31), total offense (6,223), completion pct. (62.1%), passing yards (3,660), pass completions (279) and total plays (1,087).
  • Among ACC squads, only Clemson (26.9) averaged more first downs per game than Virginia Tech (23.6) a year ago.
  • The Hokies also ranked fifth in the ACC in scoring (35.0 ppg), total offense (444.5 ypg), rushing (183.1 ypg), pass efficiency (149.8) and time of possession (31:15).
  • Helped QB Jerod Evans register one of the most productive seasons of any quarterback in school annals in 2016.
  • In his only season of FBS competition, Evans set eight single-season records for the Hokies, including marks for total offense (4,392), passing yards (3,546), TD passes (29), total TDs accounted for (41) and rushing yards by a QB (846).
  • Along with current Tech head coach Justin Fuente, helped take a Memphis program that had gone 3-21 in the two seasons prior to their arrival to a squad that went 19-7 and earned back-to-back bowl berths in 2014-15. 
  • Joined Fuente in grooming a relatively unheralded two-star quarterback prospect, Paxton Lynch, into a first-round NFL Draft pick.
  • During his final two campaigns for the Tigers, Lynch completed 64.8 percent (555 of 856) of his passes for 6,807 yards with 50 TDs and 13 INTs, good for a 147.9 rating. He also ran for 15 TDs over that two year span, while surrendering a mere 32.0 sacks.
  • By contrast, in the three seasons (2009-11) prior to Lynch’s arrival at Memphis, the Tigers compiled a 5-31 record, threw for 7,182 yards with 37 TDs and 36 INTs, while suffering 80.0 sacks.
  • Under Cornelsen’s tutelage in 2015, Lynch threw for 3,776 yards, with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He tied an FBS record with seven touchdown passes in the first half of Memphis’ 63-0 victory over SMU.
  • In 2015, under his direction as co-offensive coordinator, Memphis finished 11th nationally in scoring offense (40.2 ppg), ranking ahead of both squads who played in the College Football Playoff Championship Game – Clemson (16th – 38.5 ppg) and Alabama (30th – 35.1 ppg).
  • Memphis was particularly efficient on third down in 2015, converting 48.8 percent (101 of 207) of the time to rank eighth in the FBS.
  • In 2014-15, the Tigers averaged 185.0 rushing ypg and scored 60 TDs on the ground, producing 11 games with 200 or more net rushing yards. By contrast, the Tigers averaged a mere 87.8 rushing ypg and scored 15 rushing TDs in 2010-11.
  • The Tigers set a school record for points in consecutive seasons (993 in 2014-15) and boasted a +19 turnover differential (53 takes/34 gives) over that timeframe.
  • In 2014, with Cornelsen as the quarterbacks coach, Lynch guided the Tigers to a Miami Beach Bowl win over BYU. Lynch was the MVP after completing 24 of 46 for 306 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for three scores, tying an FBS record for touchdowns responsible for in a bowl game.
  • In 2012, Cornelsen mentored Jacob Karam who completed 64.2 percent (176 of 274) of his passes, while throwing 14 touchdowns and a school-low three interceptions.
  • Prior to joining the staff at Memphis, Cornelsen was the offensive coordinator at Northeastern State, a Division II school in Tahlequah, Okla. In his final season there in 2011, he helped the offense become among the nation’s leaders in passing offense (13th, 291 ypg) and total offense (22nd, 440 ypg). NSU’s seven wins that season were the program’s most in 11 years.
  • In 2011, Northeastern State receiver Trey McVay became a first-team All-American while in Cornelsen’s offense, catching 82 passes for 1,533 yards. He set a school single-season record for receiving yards. His 425-yard performance vs. Harding set an NCAA single-game record at any level for most receptions in a game. His 16 catches and six TDs in that contest also established school records.
  • Landed his initial full-time coaching position at Illinois State in 2003, where Fuente also served as an assistant on the Redbirds’ staff from 2001-06. Current Tech assistants Holmon Wiggins and Vance Vice were also members of that Illinois State staff.
  • Developed QB Luke Drone developed into an All-Gateway Conference choice at Illinois State in 2007.
  • In 2005, Cornelsen helped Laurent Robinson become an All-America selection and earn conference offensive player of the year honors after he set a Missouri Valley record with 86 catches for a school-record 1,465 yards. Robinson’s 292-yard game against Indiana State in 2005 still stands as a conference record.
  • Robinson concluded his career at Illinois State with 192 catches for 3,007 yards with 29 TDs, a yardage total that still ranks sixth in Missouri Valley annals. 
  • Spent the spring of 2001 at NW Missouri State working as a graduate assistant under legendary NCAA Division II head coach Mel Tjeerdsma before taking a similar role at Oklahoma State under head coach Les Miles.

Prominent Pupils

QB Paxton Lynch - D1-2016 – Denver
8,863 yards with 59 TDs in three seasons at Memphis

WR Trey McVay
Set NCAA all-division single-game record with 425 receiving yards in 2011

WR Laurent Robinson - D3-2007 – Atlanta
Falcons, Rams, Cowboys, Jaguars (2007-12)

Playing Highlights

  • Became the first quarterback in the history of NCAA Division II football to pass for at least 4,000 yards and rush for at least 2,000 yards during his career at Missouri Southern State from 1995-98.
  • Inducted into the Missouri Southern State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
  • Was on the same Oklahoma roster as current Tech head coach Justin Fuente in the 1995 Oil Bowl, an annual Oklahoma vs. Texas high school summer all-star game.