A Million Dollar Smile by Bill Foy

This week, while attending the Richmond Hokie Club dinner, I spotted Lynchburg native and now Virginia Tech football assistant coach Cornell Brown across the room. He was patiently speaking to a long line of fans, all of them thrilled he was back with the Hokies. On this night, Cornell was flashing his famous million-dollar smile and he seemed to be basking in the glow of coming home to Virginia.

I introduced myself to Cornell and told him that I was from Lynchburg, and that created an immediate connection. He was happy to talk about his days at E.C. Glass and how the football team made it to the state championship game twice, and unfortunately came up short twice. He says he still gets back to the Hill City quite a bit, and will be here even more now that he's in charge of the Hokie's recruiting in this area. His family still lives here, off Rivermont. And of course he wanted to know how his old friend Dennis Carter was doing at ABC 13.

Here's a guy who has a Super Bowl ring, a Sugar Bowl ring, a World Bowl championship (NFL-Europe) and even had his number retired at Virginia Tech. Yet, he seemed to be happiest over the fact that he was home. He talked about being fortunate to work for Coach Beamer. And he told me briefly about his upcoming plans to launch a foundation to help kids. Cornell Brown, with his million-dollar smile, is just the guy to do it.