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Just minutes after it looked like the coaching carousel had closed up for the summer…this happened. The Tennessean is reporting that John Cooper is leaving Tennessee State to take the reigns at Miami (Ohio).

Cooper will take over for the legendary Charlie Coles, who retired from coaching after this season.

Cooper’s stock was clearly on the rise in Nashville, after turning around a 9-23 team his first season to 20-11 this past, including being the only team in the regular season to knock off the Murray State Racers.

In all honesty, the Tigers probably would have been even better this next season. And they still can be.

But for that to happen, TSU must, in my view, find a new head coach much faster than, say, Eastern Illinois just did, and a lot faster than the school’s search for a women’s coach has gone. They have a lot of talent returning, and they need a new coach to essentially try and hold everyone together before anyone gets too transfer happy.

This isn’t a perfect move for Cooper, but a good one. He’s going to an established program in the MAC, but one coming off their worst season over the last 20 years, and the Redhawks haven’t won in the NCAA Tournament since the 90’s. But, it was also a very young team last year, with only 2 seniors graduating and only one junior.

  1. Greg:
    Cooper saddled with a HORRENDOUS arena in Oxford...Millett Hall is a DUMP...and there is ZERO fan support at Miami.  Redhawks WERE a premier program in the MAC...Charlie Coles made up for a ton of deficiencies with his coaching.  Miami is falling way behind in league...they NEED to put more money into program.  Under Coles, school forced them to play a ton of money games on road to stay afloat...rumor was that was going to end with new coach.  We'll see.  With school's like Ohio upping the ante with hiring coach for $425,000-base salary and throwing all kinds of $$$ into program...Miami is in danger of falling deep into irrelavancy.  I commend Cooper for getting out of TSU while iron was hot....but move to Miami might not be a great one.  They are tip-toeing a dangerous line right now.
    • Which really makes it all the more odd that he left TSU. The vast majority of his team was returning next season, including his star, Robert Covington. I was of the mindset that he'd likely put together another 20-win, top 4 finish in the OVC next year and quite possibly get some real consideration at a mid to high mid-major / low power conference program.  The MAC is a better conference, and the Redhawks do spend more than TSU on their basketball budget (albeit barely, just 1.4 mil to TSU's 1.1 mil) but instead of just waiting it our one more year, he's instead decided on yet another rebuilding job that will likely keep his name out of the carousel for at least 2 or 3 year. I at least hope (and assume) that he's getting a big bump in pay from Tenn. State.
OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24