By: CAMERON MCCARTNEY
Scott Cooper has been very successful as both a player and a coach.
He was a McDonald’s All-America nominee in 1998 as a senior at Wooster High School in Ohio, and a three-year letter winner in basketball at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. He also competed in the discus throw and the high jump while earning his undergraduate degree followed by a Master of Science in Education at Alfred University in New York. Cooper was offered the opportunity to play overseas in Switzerland, but instead chose to pursue his dream of coaching.
Cooper’s teams have thrived at every position he’s been in, including his time as head men’s and women’s tennis coach while at Alfred. Most recently, he was the associate head men’s basketball coach at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where his 2012-13 squad won the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. Cooper met with The Preface to talk about coaching, and here’s what he had to say:
Q: Who was your favorite team or player growing up?
A: I’m a Northeast Ohio guy. I like the Buckeyes, the Cleveland Indians. My favorite player was Larry Dan and David Robinson. I liked LeBron James until he switched teams.
Q: Was coaching your dream job?
A: Yes, but it was one of those things that I just thought about. My younger brother and some of the kids in the neighborhood would help me out as I worked out. It’s something that I didn’t really get into until my sophomore year in college, then my junior year in college I blew out my knee. I tried to come back as a senior but I couldn’t so I just helped out by coaching. I was looking to become an actuary coming out of college. I helped coach at Alfred with a great coach, so that helped out a lot.
Q: What do you plan to accomplish here at IUSB?
A: Short term goals…I want to be successful like the last two years. I would like to be at the same levels from the last two years. Long term goals…I want to succeed in a conference championship.
Q: What do you like about this year’s team? What are the strengths?
A: Strengths are that we are really good inside. We have three guys I’m confident in, and they are all very talented. On the perimeter I think we have two really good players.
Q: What do you remember most about playing in college?
A: Mostly my teammates. I played with some really good teams. I wasn’t an all American or anything like that, but it was the life skills that I learned with my teammates. My teammates turned out to be doctors, lawyers and one went out to get his PhD. A lot of them were very successful.