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Birth Year : 1962
Ron Cooper was the first African American head football coach at the University of Louisville (U of L). He came to U of L in 1993 from Eastern Michigan University, where he had been the head football coach with a two year record of 9-13. He had also been the defensive coordinator at Murray State University, 1987-88. Cooper was at U of L for three years before being fired in December 1997; the team's record was 7-4 the first year, 5-6 the second, 1-10 the third. When he came to U of L, Cooper was one of five African American head football coaches at Division I-A schools, and at the age of 31, he was also the youngest. After leaving U of L, Cooper was hired as the head football coach at Alabama A&M, where he coached 1998-2001. The A&M team played in the 2000 championship game of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and that year they led the nation in rushing defense. In his coaching career, Cooper has led teams to six bowl games. Ron Cooper was born in Huntsville, AL, and is a 1983 graduate of Jacksonville State University, where he lettered all four years in football. He earned his master's degree in 1986 at Appalachian State University. For more see G. Frenette, "Untapped talent pool Blacks often passed over for top spots," The Florida Times-Union, 12/15/1997, Sports section, p. B-1; The University of Louisville, by D. D. Cox and W. J. Morison; and Ron Cooper at LSUsports.net. See also the NKAA Database entry for Charles R. Strong, the second African American head football coach at U of L.
Geographic Region: Huntsville, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky