USA Baseball announced Sunday the naming of Wright State baseball coach Rob Cooper as manager of the 2013 18U National Team. Cooper will be making his managerial debut for Team USA after previously wearing the red, white and blue as part of the coaching staff of the 2007 and 2009 Collegiate National Teams.
"Rob Cooper's extensive background as a successful college head coach and member of our 2007 and 2009 Collegiate National Teams' coaching staffs makes him a perfect fit to be the field manager for the 2013 18U National Team," said Brant Ust, USA Baseball's 18U National Team Director. "Additionally, as a coach at last summer's inaugural 17U National Team Development Program, Rob had the opportunity to become familiar with some of the players who will ultimately comprise the Tournament of Stars and 18U National Team player pools. USA Baseball is excited to have Rob as the manager who will guide the 18U National Team in defending the gold at this year's IBAF 18U World Championships."
Cooper enters his ninth season at the helm of the Raiders in 2013. He has guided his teams to seven-straight 30+ win seasons, has made five appearances in the Horizon League Championship Game, winning three of them, and has led WSU to three NCAA Regional berths.
He has directed the program to over 250 victories, with his 2007 squad setting the school standard with 21 wins in Horizon League play. He is one of only five coaches to lead his team to multiple Division I NCAA Tournaments at Wright State, guiding the Raiders to a regional in 2006, 2009 and 2011. He has watched 21 of his players sign professional contracts, seven of those being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, while four players have garnered All-American honors, 45 players have been selected to the All-League teams and 16 players have earned All-Newcomer honors.
During the 2012 campaign, career win #250 came at UIC on April 22 in the form of a 4-3 decision. The Raiders also posted the program's second-longest winning streak ever as the Raiders reeled off 14 straight victories during March and April, outscored their opponents 185-67 in the process.
The 2011 season saw Cooper win his second straight Horizon League Coach of the Year award and record his 200th coaching victory with an 8-2 decision at home over Youngstown State on March 26. The Raiders won their second straight Horizon League regular-season title with a 16-7 record, claimed the league tournament crown by winning three straight games and advanced to the NCAA Regionals in College Station, Texas.
In 2010, Cooper was selected as the Horizon League Coach of the Year as WSU finished 31-25, including a win over a #1-ranked team for the second straight season with a 2-1 decision at Virginia on March 5. The Raiders won the Horizon League regular-season title with a mark of 17-6, the first regular-season conference crown for the program since the 1997 squad won the Midwestern Collegiate Conference title. Wright State then advanced to the championship round of the league tournament before falling twice to Milwaukee.
The 2009 Wright State team compiled a 33-30 overall record, including an 8-5 victory at #1-ranked Georgia on March 24. The schedule included four teams ranked among the top-25 and a handful of national powers that received votes during the season. WSU claimed victories over national contenders Tulane, Kent State and UNC Wilmington on the road, while facing the #1-ranked team five times during the season (four games at Texas A&M, one game at Georgia).
Before coming to WSU, Cooper served as the hitting coach, recruiting coordinator and bench coach at Oral Roberts University. Cooper began his coaching career at national power Miami (FL), 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. After spending the 1996 season as an assistant and team academic coordinator at Wake Forest, he then moved on to Tulane for the next two seasons, serving as the Green Wave's hitting coach. During his tenure as an assistant coach at Miami and Tulane, his teams advanced to NCAA Tournaments in 1994-95 (Miami) and 1998 (Tulane). In 1997, the Green Wave won the Conference USA regular-season crown.
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 in 1993. In his first season at Sac City, Cooper helped guide SCC to the California Community College State Tournament championship. Sac City was then the runner-up in 2002.
Along with his college coaching experience, Cooper also was an associate scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1990-92.
Cooper earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Miami in 1994 and a master's in sports sciences/administration from Miami in 1996. He and his wife, Maureen, reside in the Beavercreek area and have two children, Jake and Tyson.
Wright State kicks off the 2013 baseball campaign with the First Pitch Banquet on Tuesday, January 22, at WSU's Nutter Center, with former Major League pitcher Dave Stewart the keynote speaker. The season begins at the USA Baseball National Training Complex Classic in Cary, North Carolina, February 15-17, with the home opener set for Tuesday, February 26, at 5:00 against Xavier.
(Release courtesy of Wright State Athletics)