Every school in America has a person on campus that everyone seems to trust and confide in. That person wears many hats. It could be the principal, counselor, coach or security officer.
At Culver City high school and middle school that person is Cornell Myles. Myles has been serving the Culver City community as a security offer and a coach for 20 years.
Myles was born in 1958 in Detroit Michigan and grew up with three sisters and one brother. His journey in life, like everyone, has had its’ ups and downs but Myles has always landed on his feet. “I had decided that I was going to move to Atlanta but my sister moved to Los Angeles so I followed her to Los Angeles,” Myles said.
Myles family moved to Monrovia, California where he attended Monrovia high school where he started playing football as a cornerback. After high school he went to Pasadena City College hoping to get a Division 1 scholarship. “My first year at Pasadena I played cornerback but I got very little playing time,” Myles said. “I was really upset about not getting playing time and the linebacker coach realized that. He asked me to try the linebacker position and the rest is history.”
His dream of being offered Division 1 scholarships came true when the University of Washington and the University of Oregon came knocking on his door in 1980. “I decided to go to Oregon because a coach from Pasadena was on the staff,” Myles said. “The year I came to Oregon the football team was put on probation and Washington went to the Rose Bowl.”
After two years at Oregon Myles found out that his Division 1 eligibility had expired so he transferred to a lower division school, Eastern Washington in 1982. He played one year there and tried out for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League in 1983.
“I was one of the last players cut but I learned a very valuable lesson,” Myles said. “The Chaplin for the Blue Bombers told us that some of you guys will make the team and some of you will not but God has a plan for all of you. Right then all the pressure was released and I was at peace with myself.”
After he left Canada he moved back to Monrovia to start his first coaching job. After coaching at Monrovia he returned to Eugene Oregon where he became the head coach of a semi pro team, the Eugene Blast for five years.
“I wanted to return to the Los Angeles area so I spoke to my brother who knew the coach at Morningside and the Morningside coach told me that Culver City may have an opening for a coach,” Myles said. “Lou Lichtl, who was the head football coach, hired me in 1993 at Culver City and I am still here today.”
Myles was working as a security supervisor for UPS in 1993 when he was hired as a security officer for the Culver City schools in January 1994. “I just love the Culver City community,” Myles said. “I lived in the community for seven years and I enjoy coaching and working here. It’s a diverse community that has a lot of good people that live in the community.”
As a security officer Myles is a protector of all of the students. “The students are the ones that we are here to protect and inspire,” Myles said. “I feel like we need to protect all of the students. I feel it is very important that we spend as much time with the bad students as we do with the good students. When they graduate they come back and thank me for giving them good advice. That lets me know that this is the type of attitude I have to have all of the time. Culver City is my extended family.”
As a coach for 21 years at Culver City he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly but he continues to stay positive and be an effective leader on and off of the field. Off the field Myles became a minister in 1998 and married his wife Patricia in 2000.
Of all of Myles’ accomplishments and contributions to the Culver City schools, one incident stands out above all others. It was during a junior varsity basketball game at Culver City in 1999 and a player made a layup and fell out of bounds right in front of Myles who was the security officer at the game. Myles pick the player up a told him to get back in the game. How many security officers would have done that? That player was Culver City News’ sports editor’s son, Steve Finley II.