Jon Cornish

Athlete (Professional) | 2023

Very few running backs struck fear into the hearts of the opposition as Jon Cornish did at every level he played at.

A native of New Westminster, Cornish was a dominant force playing for the St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights on both sides of the field finishing his high school career with 3,200 career rushing yards and 49 touchdowns while being a three-year letter-winner. In his senior year, Jon rushed for 14.7 yards per carry and was the first ever selection for the BC Football Player of the Year award. He was also part of three AAA provincial championship teams, two varsity and one junior varsity. They would bring their intimidating presence down south when they joined the University of Kansas after high school, where they set the school’s single season rushing record with 1,457 yards and was a First Team All-Big XII in his senior year and received the team’s offensive MVP twice. In honour of Jon’s time in the NCAA, the Jon Cornish Trophy is now awarded by Football Canada to the most outstanding Canadian player in NCAA football.

It was in the Canadian Football League, more specifically with the Calgary Stampeders, where Cornish really made his mark. Drafted in the second round of the 2006 CFL Draft by the Stampeders, Cornish was a driving force on a Stampeders team that was a perennial contender throughout the late 2000s to early 2010s.

In their nine-season career with the Stampeders, they were a Western All-Star for four straight seasons (2011 to 2014), a CFL All-Star for three straight seasons (2012-2014), a three-time winner of the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian Award (2012-2014), and the recipient of the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 2013. They were also the recipient of the Lou Marsh trophy as Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2013, just the fourth Canadian football player to be recognized for the honour and the first since Russ Jackson in 1969.

Cornish also broke one of the CFL’s most-valued records in 2012 when they surpassed Normie Kwong’s Canadian single-season rushing record with 1,457 yards in 2012. They would then break his own record the following year with 1,813 rushing yards. Cornish led the CFL in rushing in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and touchdowns in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In total, Cornish played 140 regular season games and 12 playoff games, making three Grey Cup appearances while winning the championship twice (2008, 2014). They concluded his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Stampeders history with 6,844 yards.

Cornish was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2019, a First Ballot selection.

Jon continued his professional development off the field, having started working at a major Canadian bank while playing for the Stampeders. They are now an investment advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. In 2020, Cornish founded the Calgary Black Chambers, which has raised over $300,000 in scholarships for college students. In 2022, they were named as the 15th Chancellor of the University of Calgary, the youngest in Canadian history.

Jon is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Go Back