Tennessee State loses basketball coach after short, successful stint

Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 11:00pm
Staff reports

Success sometimes comes at a cost.

For Tennessee State University, the most successful basketball season in nearly 20 years meant the loss of coach Jon Cooper, who was named head coach at Miami (Ohio) on Friday.

He will be officially introduced at a press conference Monday afternoon.

"First of all, thank you to the Tennessee State University family and for all of the things they've done for me," Cooper said in a release from Miami. "This group of players at TSU provided me with this opportunity to continue my career.

“As I look forward to Miami, I'm certainly excited about working with such a great administration. It was so evident that they're fully supportive of the program.”

Cooper was an assistant coach at four different schools, including South Carolina and Auburn, when TSU hired him in 2009.

He was 43-51 overall (27-25 in the Ohio Valley Conference) during three seasons with the Tigers but led them to a 20-13 record this past season. It was the program’s first winning record since 1995-96, it’s first 20-win season in 32 years and included the first victory against a Southeastern Conference opponent (South Carolina).

Cooper was a finalist for four different coaching awards.

"John Cooper symbolizes the extraordinary future of Miami Basketball that we all envision," Miami director of athletics Brad Bates said. "… He has annually increased three critical variables during his time in Nashville: competitiveness, Academic Performance Rating and attendance. Most importantly, John genuinely cares about his players as high school prospects, students and alums.

“We are excited to welcome John [and his family] to Oxford and look forward to a great future of Miami Basketball."

1 Comment on this post:

By: PKVol on 4/9/12 at 9:08

Great writing! "Cooper was an assistant coach at four different schools, including South Carolina and Auburn, when TSU hired him in 2009." This would indicate that he was working as an assitant coach for four schools at one time. Also, the word different is not needed in this context as it would be assumed that he worked at 'different' schools by the use of the word 'four'. A better way to write this and get the point across: "Cooper had worked as an assistant coach at four schools, including South Carolina and Auburn, prior to being hired as the head coach by TSU in 2009."

The conference that Miami competes in is much tougher than the OVC, Cooper will have his hands full - it's too bad that as Belmont joins the OVC, Cooper didn't stay to see if the conference could move up a level to that of a true mid-major instead of a 'one-bid' conference. TSU won't make the commitment needed to keep a coach with any real abilitity.