Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/28/21
The Philly lacrosse community is mourning the loss of Souderton boys’ lacrosse head coach Mark Gerald Cornes, 46, of Harleysville, who passed away unexpectedly Saturday, May 22.
Mark was a key member of the Business Development Team for OpenSource Technologies, located in Lansdale, for their Philadelphia office. He played a huge role in their success. He had been living in the Baltimore area, where he was born, until moving to the Philly region in 2017.
Mark channeled his early drive for success into a career as a coach where he guided myriad youth athletes into a love for the challenge and satisfaction sports offer. Mark was passionate about many things in life, and sports was a main outlet. He rooted intensely for his hometown Baltimore Ravens. He was never without an opinion about the upcoming season and his move from Baltimore to Philadelphia did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for the Ravens upcoming season’s prospects.
Moving north provided him with a new fertile ground to grow and share his passion for lacrosse, and that is exactly what he did. He immediately got involved with the Souderton Area Boys Lacrosse Association, where he coached every year. Mark also coached for the Olde English, and the Dukes Lacrosse youth club teams.
“I have had the privilege of coaching youth travel lacrosse with Mark since 2018 most recently with Dukes 2028,” said North Penn coach Rick Smith, who coached with Smith on the Dukes 2028 youth team. “Mark grew up in Maryland and was very passionate about lacrosse.
“Fortunately for us, he brought that passion with him as he moved into the Philadelphia area. Mark really took pleasure in seeing youth players develop under his tutelage and Mark would be willing to work with any player regardless of their experience. I was most impressed with Mark’s ability to teach youth lacrosse players high school level concepts. Mark was a leader through his actions and always staying positive with his players.”
In 2019, Mark became the junior varsity coach for Souderton and in 2020 and 2021 he moved into the role of varsity coach for where his team reached the playoffs this season and went 12-7. Through each and every one of these outlets, Mark worked tirelessly cultivating his trademark culture for hard work, determination, and a love and respect for the game of lacrosse in the Souderton area.
“Mark’s passion for the game and for Souderton Lacrosse was evident in everything he did,” said Souderton Athletic Director Dennis Stanton. “He truly cared about his players and always demonstrated genuine concern for them as players and people. He impacted so many young men in the short time he coached at Souderton.”
Mark was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of Barbara (Selfridge) Cornes and the late Gerald Frederick Cornes. Mark graduated from Gilman School in Baltimore, Md., Class of 1994. While attending Gilman he was a decorated athlete. He was a three-year starter in both football and lacrosse. On the lacrosse field, his accolades include leading the Greyhounds to the MIAA Conference championship in his senior year, being a two-time First Team All-Metro selection, and earning the distinguished honor of being the 1994 Baltimore Sun Lacrosse Player of the Year. Following high school, Mark played division I lacrosse at The University of Delaware before transferring to UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County). While at UMBC Mark’s team went to the NCAA playoffs and were ranked #8 in the country. Mark graduated with a BA in Business Psychology.
After he graduated from UMBC, he acquired a position in sales. One of the highlights, while working in Baltimore, was his close relationship with NFL Super Bowl winner, Tom Matte. Mark enjoyed Tom’s stories about the years he played football with Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.
Mark was the husband of Molly (Buzdygon) Cornes. They were inseparable for 21 years and married for 15. Mark and Molly met at UMBC while both were playing lacrosse.
In addition to his wife Molly and mother Barbara, he is survived by his daughter Hannah, age 13, son Logan, age 11, brother Commander Brandon Cornes, U.S. Navy, his wife Crystin and their son Callen. Additionally, his in-laws Barry and Debbie Buzdygon, Christopher and Megan Case, and his two nephews Ethan and Eliott Case survive him.
Friends, players, coaches, and relatives are invited to Mark’s Celebration of Life, which will be held Wednesday, June 2 at 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Souderton Area High School Stadium, 625 Lower Road Souderton, Pa 19864 (Franconia Township).
The ceremony will be moved into the Souderton High School Gymnasium in the case of inclement weather. All attendees will need to wear a mask if the ceremony needs to be moved inside.
Attendees are welcome to share stories/memories of Mark by speaking at the podium’s microphone or in the press box. There will be someone there to read your story or favorite memory about Mark if you would like that option.
One hour prior to, and after the ceremony the family will greet attendees. During this time, former players of all ages are invited to shoot/pass on the turf together in honor of Mark’s passion for the game of lacrosse. Bring your stick!
The family will be wearing sports attire. Feel free to join us as we celebrate Mark’s love of sports.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mark Cornes memorial fund that has been set up for Hannah and Logan at: TD Bank, 325 Main Street, Harleysville, PA 19438
*The celebration will be recorded to memorialize the event for Mark’s brother Brandon, whose commitments in the U.S. Navy will preclude him from joining us.