OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Miami University hires a new basketball coach in the wake of Charlie Coles' retirement.
Tennessee State University's John Cooper is joining the team as head coach. According to Brad Bates, Miami's Director of Athletics, Cooper has experience as both head coach and assistant coach at Auburn, Oregon, South Carolina and Fayetteville State.
"John Cooper symbolizes the extraordinary future of Miami Basketball that we all envision," Bates said. "He excelled as a student-athlete, as team captain, leading scorer and rebounder, and a Rhodes Scholar candidate. John has been mentored by some extraordinary leaders in the sport and has coached in the Southeastern Conference and the PAC 12 Conference… Most importantly, John genuinely cares about his players as high school prospects, students and alums. "
Cooper's 2011-2012 Tennessee State teams had a 20-13 record. It was the school's first winning record since the 1995-1996 season and the teams first 20 win season in 32 years. In his three years at TSU his overall record was 43-51 including a 27-25 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.
"First of all, thank you to the Tennessee State University family and for all of the things they've done for me," said Cooper. "… 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. When we played at Miami in February, it was clear to see the youthful talent on the RedHawk team and that has me excited. They worked so hard for Coach Coles and I want those guys to know that we're always going to have their best interests at heart. We want to create a family atmosphere and become successful, but also to feel comfortable that we'll be completely supportive to their needs. We will strive to help them improve as athletes but, more importantly, we want them to become better people."
Cooper is a native of Kansas City, Mo. and he played basketball at Wichita State.