Saint Martin's hires top SPU assistant to lead men's basketball team
Friday, April 11, 2003
Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin’s College Athletic
Director Bob Grisham today announced the hiring of Keith Cooper as coach
of the college’s men’s basketball team, the Saints. He will begin
Cooper, who served as top assistant at Seattle Pacific
University before accepting the post at Saint Martin’s, was selected
after an extensive search and selection process. He comes to Saint
Martin’s with 16 years of coaching experience at the high school,
community college, NAIA and NCAA Division II levels.
“We’re thrilled to be able to hire someone with a
solid reputation and successful experience at all levels, especially
within our conference,” said Grisham. “He is highly respected among the
coaching community, has a tremendous work ethic and a genuine passion
Prior to coaching at Seattle Pacific University, he
served as the top assistant at Central Washington University for two
years. From 1995 until 2000, he was head coach at Decatur High School in
Federal Way, where he compiled 74 wins and three state tournament
appearances, including a second place finish in the 1996 AAA tournament.
That team featured Washington’s player of the year, Quincy Wilder.
Cooper was named coach of the year in 1999 by the Tacoma News Tribune.
Cooper served as assistant to longtime Pacific
Lutheran University Coach Bruce Haroldson from 1991 to 1995. Before that
time, he was assistant coach at Shoreline Community College, including
half a season as interim head coach.
Dick Roney, a member of the search committee and the
college’s board of trustees, said: “He is a great fit for us. He
understands the unique demands and challenges facing a small, private
college competing at the Division II level. He is also very focused on
the need to balance academics and athletics.”
Cooper said his first priorities will be to meet with
returning players. He hopes to begin recruiting immediately and will
concentrate on finding players who can play at the Division II level and
who are an ideal fit for the College.
“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to be
the next head coach at Saint Martin’s,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for
16 years to position myself for a job like this, and I’m looking forward
to building on the school’s great tradition. Saint Martin's College is a
great institution and I’m excited to become not just an integral part of
the school, but involved in the local community.”
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