Dr. Sam Cooper, Former Bowling Green Coach, Passes Away

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, December 14. FORMER Bowling Green State University coach and physical education administrator Dr. Samuel Cooper passed away on Friday, Dec. 12, 2003. He was 89 years old.

Cooper spent 29 years as a professor of physical education at BGSU (1946-75) and retired as chairman of the Health and Physical Education department. While at BGSU, Cooper served as head swimming coach, assistant cross country and track coach, and was instrumental in beginning the BGSU hockey program.

In 17 years (1946-63), he coached the Falcon swimming team to a 160-49-1 dual meet record, winning the MAC title five straight years (1956-60) and adding the sixth title in 1962 before retiring in 1963 for full-time HPE duties. The natatorium in the BGSU Recreation Center is named after him.

He was born Jan. 29, 1914, in Toledo and raised in Bellevue. A graduate of Bellevue High School (Bellevue, Ohio), Cooper starred on the football, basketball and track teams. At Oberlin College he captained the football team at end, played guard in basketball, and ran the quarter and half mile in track before graduating in 1936. After graduation, he earned a spot on the 1936 U.S. Olympic team.

After serving as a head football, swimming and track coach at Bellevue H.S., Cooper served 31 months as a Naval Officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Cooper earned his master's degree from New York University in 1939 and his Ph.D. in educational administration from Western Reserve in 1955. He was inducted into the Oberlin College Hall of Fame in 1989 and the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975.

Visitation: Monday, December 15, 2003
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Dunn Funeral Home
408 West Wooster Street
Bowling Green, OH 43402
(419) 352-2132

Funeral Service: Tuesday, December 16, 2003
11:00 a.m.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
315 South College Drive
Bowling Green, OH 43402
(419) 353-9305

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Author: Archive Team

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