Rich Cooper has been named the seventh head women’s basketball coach in Gloucester County College history by the GCC Board of Trustees at their meeting this evening. Cooper will begin immediately with the main task of recruiting an incoming class of freshman to build the program around. Cooper has experience at both the high school and intercollegiate levels and has previously worked at GCC as an assistant coach with the Men’s Basketball Program.
“Words can’t explain how excited I am for this opportunity,” said the newly hired coach. “I have worked extremely hard to get to this point and I look forward to working with the staff and the student-athletes.” As a head coach at the high school level at Triton Regional the past five seasons, Cooper has had the chance to see many of the top players in the area and will have a network of high school coaching contacts in the area which he can turn to early on while he tries to build a team. “Recruiting will be very important to our success. We need to sell our program and the benefits of being a student athlete at Rowan College at Gloucester County.”
Cooper talked about those benefits including being a part of one of the nation’s best two-year athletic programs, the high quality and affordable education, and new partnership with Rowan University. Cooper added, “Our main goal is to return the program back to prominence by following the blueprint that has already been set by the other athletic programs at this college while putting our own mark on that tradition.”
Prior to taking over the head girls’ coaching job at Triton Regional, Cooper spent time with the Men’s Basketball Program at GCC where he was an assistant coach under Steve Gangloff. Cooper’s primary responsibility was recruiting but he also ran many of the practices and prepared game plans for the team. Prior to that, Cooper was an assistant coach in the boys’ basketball program at his alma mater Triton Regional where he worked under then head boys’ coach Brian Rowan, who is now the Assistant Athletic Director at GCC.
“I know Rich Cooper very well and I was excited when he told me he was going to apply for this position,” commented Rowan. “He has a keen basketball mind, is a tireless worker, and knows the importance of recruiting. I firmly believe we have hired someone who will be a championship coach at some point in his career here at this college.”
Athletic Director Ron Case liked the fact that Cooper had head coaching experience on his resume and put a high value on education. “Rich has a master’s degree and spent a good deal of time in the interview process talking about the academic success that he wants to see in the program as well as the on-court success. That is very important to us here. The fact that he has experience at the intercollegiate level and also has been a head coach was very attractive to us as well.”