Cornell Tinner, and his long association with youth football in the panhandle of Florida, has made a dynamic impact on the lives of hundreds of young men and women over the last 23 years. Through his tireless work over many years, he established in both the Panhandle Youth Football Association and the Niceville Football Little League a positive learning environment that stresses teamwork, discipline, and leadership as its cornerstones.
He has coined the phrases, “Win with pride, lose with dignity”, “Teamwork makes the dream work”, and “Take care of your opponents” as the principles that guide and inspire the young men and women that participate in the Panhandle Youth Football Association (PYFA). His dynamic leadership, vision, and superb people-skills were singularly responsible for taking a program that was struggling to survive and with his own financial resources, succeeds in making it the “model” for youth sports in the state of Florida. In fact, many youth football programs inside and outside the state of Florida have asked him personally to help their own programs improve and grow utilizing the sound principles he established for the PYFA and Niceville Youth Football.
In addition, Cornell Tinner is a man devoted to helping those that are in need as well as honoring the memories of our best that have passed on. He was the chief architect and driving force behind the establishment and continued success of the “Brickhouse Classic,” an annual Thanksgiving youth football tournament in the Florida panhandle that has raised money for local charities including the Taylor Haugen Foundation. Further, Cornell Tinner established a scholarship program within the Niceville Football Little League that allowed those with limited financial resources the opportunity to participate in youth football.
His tireless efforts to improve local youth football facilities have resulted in recognition by Impact 100 of Northwest Florida as a 2017 finalist for highly sought grants supporting organizations making a positive impact on the lives of the citizens of Northwest Florida. The positive impact Cornell Tinner has had on the lives of young men and women in the panhandle of Florida is measured every day with the notable academic and athletic successes achieved in middle school, high school, and college. Cornell Tinner personifies the very high qualities and devotion to youth athletics and solid character development that Colonel Al Byrne would have applauded and that this prestigious award honors.