TSU Formally Welcomes John Cooper
Monday, March 30, 2009

Cooper Aims to Involve Basketball Program in the Community

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee State University President Dr. Melvin N. Johnson, Athletic Director Teresa Phillips, with administrators, players, and a host of TSU alumni were on hand to welcome and announce the hiring of newly appointed men's basketball head coach John A. Cooper at a press conference this afternoon.

Coach Cooper becomes the 13th men's basketball head coach in the program's history. He joins the staff after serving as an associate head coach at Auburn University (2004-2009). With over 15 years of coaching experience and accompanied by his family, Coach Cooper emphasized the importance of restablishing the program's involvement in the community.

"Among all the schools in Nashville; Belmont, Lipscomb, and Vanderbilt, as a state institution, Tennessee State is the people's university," Coach Cooper addressed. "We will be community oriented. In order to have the community involved, you have to involve yourself with the community."

In addition to promoting TSU as an intricate vehicle in the community, Cooper touched briefly on style of play but added that he was thankful to the former coaching staff for recruiting a talented bunch of individuals. He also indicated that he was aware of the rich history involving TSU basketball and highlighted a goal in capturing the first 20-win season in 30 years.  

"Tennessee State University was a program that I followed for a while now. This program is a diamond in the rough," Cooper explained. "To succeed, you have to have a plan, and part of the plan is having a culture."

TSU Athletic Director, Teresa Phillips commented earlier on Cooper's ability. "John Cooper's vision for the TSU program is outstanding. His background shows that he has learned from great coaches and that he will be a great mentor and steward for our young athletes."

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