John Cooper to Receive 2016 AFCA Stagg Award

Former Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State head coach, John Cooper, has been named the recipient of the AFCA’s 2016 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award.  The award is given to those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests in football,” and will be presented to Cooper at the AFCA Awards Luncheon on January 12 during the 2016 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Cooper began his head-coaching career at Tulsa in 1977 and posted a career record of 192-84-6 before retiring in 2000. During Cooper’s career, he won three different conference titles with three different teams, winning nine conference championships overall (five Missouri Valley Conference titles, one Pacific 10 title, and three Big Ten titles). He led both the Sun Devils and the Buckeyes to 14 bowl appearances and was awarded the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1986. Cooper was successful in leading his teams to national prominence during each of his tenures, being the first coach to win a Rose Bowl with a team from both the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences.

“I’m very, very excited to receive such a distinguished award from the American Football Coaches Association,” said Cooper. “I’ve been honored as a coach of the year and I’ve been inducted into several halls of fame, but it doesn’t get any better than this, to me. I look at the past recipients who have received this award and I think, ‘Holy cow, what did I do to deserve this great honor?’ I’m very honored and thrilled and I’m looking forward to coming to the convention and accepting the award. I’d also like to thank everyone responsible for making this possible: my former players and certainly my coaches and my colleagues.”

Cooper was born July 2, 1937 in Powell, Tennessee. In college, he played running back for Iowa State from 1959-61. In 1959, their team was known as the “dirty thirty” for they had a depleted roster of only 30 players, but still finished with a strong 7-3 record. During his senior year in 1961, Cooper was named team captain and Iowa State’s MVP. He graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor’s degree in physical education and immediately went straight into coaching as a freshman team coach at Iowa State. After one year at Iowa State, he was an assistant at Oregon State from 1963-64 and at and UCLA from 1965-66. He was named the defensive coordinator at Kansas in 1967, and helped lead the Jayhawks to the Big 8 title in 1968, winning the Orange Bowl and finishing sixth in the Coaches Poll. He left Kansas after five years and took his last assistant coaching position at Kentucky in 1972. Finally, in 1977, he was named head coach at Tulsa, which would mark the beginning of his legendary career.

Cooper led a struggling Tulsa team to a winning record of 56-32, achieving a 10-win season in 1982 and five straight conference championships from 1980-84. His success at Tulsa eventually led him to the head-coaching job at Arizona State in 1985, where he led the Sun Devils to three straight bowl games. Arizona State won the 1987 Rose Bowl, earning Cooper Sporting News’ Coach of the Year honors that season, and the Freedom Bowl in 1987. After three seasons at Arizona State, Cooper took the head coaching position at Ohio State in 1988, remaining there for the rest of his career. While in Ohio, he led the Buckeyes to 10 consecutive bowl games and coached 1995 Heisman Trophy Winner, Eddie George. Out of his 11 total bowl appearances with the Buckeyes, most notably are Cooper’s Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl victories in 1996 and 1998, respectively, making Ohio State the runner-up national champions for both those seasons. He is Ohio State’s second all-time winningest coach with a 111-43-4 record.

Cooper has received many awards throughout his career as a coach and a player. He has been inducted into Iowa State’s Athletics Hall of Fame for his many contributions as a running back and defensive back. Cooper has also been inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame after his two Rose Bowl victories. There are many achievements that Cooper values, but the accomplishment he cherishes most was being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Cooper is also a four-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year winner. He served on the AFCA Board of Trustees from 1984-1991 and served as the AFCA President in 1992.

The Award
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is given to the “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.” Its purpose is “to perpetuate the example and influence of Amos Alonzo Stagg.” The award is named in honor of a man who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s. He is considered one of the great innovators and motivating forces in the early development of the game of football. The plaque given to each recipient is a replica of the one given to Stagg at the 1939 AFCA Convention in tribute to his 50 years of service to football.

Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg began his coaching career at the School of Christian Workers, now Springfield (Mass.) College, after graduating from Yale University in 1888. Stagg also served as head coach at Chicago (1892-1932) and College of the Pacific (1933-1946). His 41 seasons at Chicago is one of the longest head coaching tenures in the history of the college game.

Among the innovations credited to Stagg are the tackling dummy, the huddle, the reverse play, man in motion, knit pants, numbering plays and players, and the awarding of letters. A long-time AFCA member, Stagg was the Association’s 1943 Coach of the Year. According to NCAA records, Stagg’s 57-year record as a college head coach is 314-199-35. He was 84 years old when he ended his coaching career at Pacific in 1946. He died in 1965 at the age of 103.

Past Alonzo Stagg Award Winners

1940     Donald Herring, Jr., (Princeton player) and family
1941     William H. Cowell (posthumously), New Hampshire
1946     Grantland Rice, sportswriter
1947     William A. Alexander, Georgia Tech
1948     Gilmour Dobie, North Dakota State,Washington, Navy, Cornell, Boston College
        Glenn S. “Pop” Warner, Georgia, Cornell, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Temple
        Robert C. Zuppke, Illinois
1949     Richard C. Harlow, Penn State, Colgate, Western Maryland, Harvard
1950    No award given
1951     DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry, Westminster, Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth
1952     A.N. “Bo” McMillin, Indiana
1953     Lou Little, Georgetown, Columbia
1954     Dana X. Bible, Mississippi College, LSU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas
1955     Joseph J. Tomlin, founder, Pop Warner Football
1956     No award given
1957     Gen. Robert R. Neyland, Tennessee
1958     Bernie Bierman, Mississippi A&M, Tulane, Minnesota
1959     Dr. John W. Wilce, Ohio State
1960     Harvey J. Harman, Haverford, University of the South, Pennsylvania, Rutgers
1961     Ray Eliot, Illinois
1962     E.E. “Tad” Wieman, Michigan, Princeton, Maine
1963     Andrew Kerr, Stanford, Washington & Jefferson, Colgate, Lebanon Valley
1964     Don Faurot, Missouri
1965     Harry Stuhldreher, Wisconsin
1966     Bernie H. Moore, LSU
1967     Jess Neely, Southwestern, Clemson, Rice
1968     Abe Martin, TCU
1969     Charles A. “Rip” Engle, Brown, Penn State
1970     Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf, Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Oklahoma A&M, Kansas State, Northwestern, California
1971     Bill Murray, Delaware, Duke
1972     Jack Curtice, Stanford
1973     Lloyd Jordan, Amherst, Harvard
1974     Alonzo S. “Jake” Gaither, Florida A&M
1975     Gerald B. Zornow, business executive
1976     No award given
1977     Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder, Muhlenberg, Syracuse
1978     Tom Hamilton, Navy, Pittsburgh
1979     H.O. “Fritz” Crisler, Minnesota, Princeton, Michigan
1980     No award given
1981     Fred Russell, sportswriter
1982     Eddie Robinson, Grambling
1983     Paul W. “Bear” Bryant, Maryland, Kentucky,Texas A&M, Alabama
1984     Charles B. “Bud” Wilkinson, Oklahoma
1985     Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State
1986     Woody Hayes, Denison, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State
1987     Field Scovell, Cotton Bowl
1988     G. Herbert McCracken, Allegheny, Lafayette
1989     David Nelson, Delaware
1990     Len Casanova, Oregon
1991     Bob Blackman, Denver, Dartmouth, Illinois, Cornell
1992     Charles McClendon, LSU
1993    Keith Jackson, ABC-TV
1994    Bob Devaney, Nebraska, Wyoming
1995    John Merritt, Jackson State, Tennessee State
1996    Chuck Neinas, College Football Association
1997    Ara Parseghian, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Notre Dame
1998    Bob Reade, Augustana (Ill.)
1999    Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan
2000    Tom Osborne, Nebraska
2001    Vince Dooley, Georgia
2002    Joe Paterno, Penn State
2003    LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young
2004    Ron Schipper, Central (Iowa)
2005    Hayden Fry, North Texas, SMU, Iowa
2006    Grant Teaff, McMurry, Angelo State, Baylor
2007    Bill Curry, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky
2008    Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers, Stanford
2009    John Gagliardi, Carroll (Mont.), St. John’s (Minn.)
2010    Darrell Royal, Mississippi State, Washington, Texas
2011    Bobby Bowden, Samford, West Virginia, Florida State
2012    Fisher DeBerry, U.S. Air Force Academy
2013    Frosty Westering, Parsons, Lea College, Pacific Lutheran
2014    R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M
2015    Ken Hatfield, Air Force, Arkansas, Clemson, Rice

For more click here!

I forgot my username or password!