The Butler Family lost one of its favorite Bulldogs with the passing of Joel Cornette. One of the most popular student-athletes in Butler history, he was known for his outgoing personality, quick wit, trademark smile, and toughness that so many identify with Butler teams, especially of his era. He embodied The Butler Way.

Joel CornetteThe outpouring of support from those who knew Joel well and those who appreciated his true love for Butler has been remarkable. In partnership with the Cornette Family and as one of the ways to celebrate Joel’s legacy, Butler University has established the Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarship support for future Butler Bulldogs.

Contributions in Joel’s honor may be made online at or by check to Butler University Advancement, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46208. Please reference “Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund” in the check memo or online designation field. Thank you for helping us honor Joel and provide support for future Bulldogs.

Cornette, who was a key member of Butler’s first Sweet 16 team, passed away suddenly on August 16 due to natural causes. He was 35.

On the court, Cornette helped the Bulldogs to a record of 100-30 in his four seasons (1999-2003). Butler made three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four years, including the program’s first Sweet 16 in 2003. The Bulldogs also made the NIT in 2002. He scored 1,100 career points and pulled down 712 rebounds, marks that are 33rd and tenth respectively in Butler history. His 144 career blocks and .544 career field goal percentage also rank among the Top 10 in Butler history.

Cornette was named to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League All-Defensive Team in 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03. He earned second-team All-League honors in 2002-03. Cornette served on the Butler coaching staff for the 2006-07 season as the team’s coordinator of basketball operations before going to Iowa as a member of Todd Lickliter’s staff. Cornette grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, starring for St. Xavier High School. An NBPA-certified player-agent, Cornette served as the Director of Basketball Recruiting at Priority Sports since January, 2012.

A celebration of Joel Cornette’s life will be held at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Monday, August 22, at 11 AM.


Media contact:
John Dedman