By SHERRY DIGMON
Thursday morning, March 23, Coach Cornell Torrence will be memorialized in the gymnasium that bears his name.
Coach Torrence passed away Monday, March 20. Thursday at 11 a.m., a Celebratory Service will be held in the Escambia County High School Cornell Torrence Gymnasium. In February 2015, the Escambia County Board of Education named the gym in honor of Coach Torrence, a testament to a man who dedicated himself to education and student athletics and youth recreation.
He taught health, PE, drivers ed and coached football and basketball in Escambia County for 39 years. As assistant football coach at ECHS, they won two state championships. As head basketball coach, his team won 15 area games, two regions, and went to the state tournament two times.
Although Coach Torrence retired from the school system in 1995, his community service continued. He took the lead role in establishing a health center in Atmore. He served as director for the recreational summer program at Houston Avery Park. He was past president of the Progressive Civic and Recreational Club. Always a teacher at heart, Coach Torrence taught health and PE for many years to inmates at Fountain Correctional Center and Holman Correctional Facility.
In addition to all this, Coach Torrence served on the Atmore City Council from 2009 to 2016.
And always by his side was his wife Mavis, an educator and community servant in her own right.
The accolades Coach Torrence received were many. A few were the following.
In 2009, then-Mayor Howard Shell, the city council, and the city recreation department presented Coach Torrence with the Key to the City “In Recognition of Forty-Five Years of Outstanding Service to the His Community, Especially to the Youth of Our City.” Coach Torrence was recognized for service with the Houston Avery Park summer youth program.
In 2010, he was named to the Atmore Area Hall of Fame.
In 2015, the ECHS gym was named in his honor.
In 2018, Coach and Mavis Torrence received the Atmore Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was a member of Gaines Chapel A.M.E. Church.
Cornell Torrence’s obituary is on page 3 of this edition of Atmore News.