John Cooper has been named an assistant coach by Head Coach Tim Jankovich. Cooper has served as head coach at Miami (Ohio) and Tennessee State as well as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Oregon and Auburn.
Cooper has recorded more than 100 wins as a Division I head coach, and joins the Mustangs after three seasons on staff at Oklahoma State.
“We are very excited to have John joining our basketball family,” said Jankovich. “He has been an outstanding player, assistant coach and head coach. His wealth of experience will be a tremendous addition to our program.”
Prior to Oklahoma State, the Kansas City, Missouri, native spent eight seasons as a head coach, three at Tennessee State (2009-12) and five at Miami (Ohio) (2012-17). In all, Cooper has been in collegiate coaching since 1993, including assistant coaching roles at South Carolina (1995-01), Oregon (2002-04) and Auburn (2004-09).
“I am really excited to join the SMU family,” said Cooper. “I am looking forward to contributing to the achievements of this program, and helping the staff and student-athletes continue to be successful.”
In his five seasons with Miami (Ohio), he coached five All-Mid-American Conference honorees. At TSU, his 2011-12 squad posted a 20-13 record, the school’s first winning mark since 1995-96 and the Tigers’ first 20-win season in 32 years. He was a finalist for four different coaching awards in 2011-12, including the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, the John McLendon Award, The Hugh Durham Award and the Ben Jobe Award.
Cooper joined Tennessee State following a five-year stint as associate head coach at Auburn, including a 24-12 record in 2008-09. He was at Oregon from 2002-04 where he helped the Ducks to a 41-23 mark. Oregon went 23-10 with an NCAA bid in 2002-03 and was 18-13 in 2003-04 en route to the NIT semifinals. From 1995 to 2001 Cooper was an assistant coach at South Carolina. The 1996-97 squad won the SEC title, finishing 24-8 and ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.
Cooper played collegiately at Wichita State from 1987-91. He led the Shockers in scoring and rebounding during his junior and senior seasons. Cooper was a two-time team captain and a Rhodes Scholar candidate his senior year.
He played professional basketball with the Ft. Wayne Fury (CBA) in 1991-92 and with the Commodore Mustangs (Netherlands) in 1992-93.
Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wichita State in 1991. He and his wife, Melissa, have a daughter, Kennedy, and a son, Kameron.
John Cooper Timeline
1987-91 Wichita State (Student-Athlete)
1991-92 Ft. Wayne Fury (Player)
1992-93 Commodore Mustangs (Player)
1993-95 Fayetteville State (Assistant Coach)
1995-01 South Carolina (Assistant Coach)
2002-04 Oregon (Assistant Coach)
2004-09 Auburn (Assistant Coach)
2009-12 Tennessee State (Assistant Coach)
2012-17 Miami (Ohio) (Head Coach)
2017-20 Oklahoma State (Assistant Coach 2017-19, Special Assistant to HC 2019-20)