Oct. 27, 2004
Fairborn, Ohio - Rob Cooper, assistant baseball coach for Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, has been named the head baseball coach at Wright State University, announced WSU Athletics Director Michael Cusack on Wednesday.
Cooper, who will start immediately, replaces 30-year head coach Ron Nischwitz who earlier accepted a position as the University's first Emeritus Head Coach.
"Rob brought a combination of experience in successful programs and an infectious enthusiasm that made him a natural choice," Cusack said. "Though we had a great field of candidates, Rob won over our search committee and staff. We think he is the perfect fit to take what Coach Nischwitz has built and continue the great legacy he created."
Oral Roberts, a perennial power of the Mid-Continent Conference,advanced to this year's finals of the NCAA Austin Regional, beating TCU twice and losing to top-seeded Texas 7-3 and 7-5. The Golden Eagles, 50-11 in 2004, also boasted regular-season wins over national powers Arkansas, Arizona State twice, Creighton three times and Wichita State. ORU also had five players selected in the Major League Baseball draft, three named All-Americans by collegebaseballinsiders.com and two honoredas All-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
"I am excited to join the Raiders and would like to thank Mike Cusack for this opportunity to work with an exceptional staff," Cooper said. "Our goal is to improve on the great base that Coach Nischwitz has in place and give the student-athletes the chance to succeed on and off the field. WSU has already felt like home to me."
Cooper, who served as ORU's hitting coach, began his coaching career at national power Miami (Fla.), spending two seasons (1994-95) as a student/graduate assistant on the Hurricanes' staff. While at Miami, Cooper helped lead the Hurricanes to College World Series berths in 1994 and 1995.
The Colorado native spent the 1996 season as an assistant at Wake Forest, then moved on to Tulane for the next two seasons serving as the Green Wave's hitting coach. Cooper left Tulane following the 1998 season and returned to Sacramento City College, where he starred in the early 1990's before lettering at Miami ('93).
In his first season at Sac City, Cooper helped guide SCC to theCalifornia Community College State Tournament championship. Sac City was the runner-up in 2002. While an assistant, his teams also advanced to NCAA Tournaments in 1994-95 (Miami) and 1998 (Tulane). In 1997, Tulane won the Conference USA regular-season crown.
The Raiders went 22-34, 10-11 in the Horizon League this past spring. Cooper and wife, Maureen, have two children, Tyson and Jake.