Friday, January 14, 2005

A retirement dinner is being planned to honor Dave Cooper, who has served as Athletic Director since 1997.

The event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28. A social hour is planned at the Erickson Alumni Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with dinner following at the Turley Center Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per person. The event is being organized by the FS Letterman's Association and the Alumni Association. Reservations may be made until Friday, Jan. 21. Those wishing to attend may mail a check to 210 Hardway Hall (made out to the Fairmont State Foundation Inc.) or they may call Judy Biafore at (304) 367-4192 or e-mail her at jbiafore@fairmontstate.edu.

Cooper, who has finished seven and a half years as the institution's sixth Athletic Director, will be participating in phased retirement, which means that although he is retiring he will continue to work part-time at Fairmont State for a few years.

Cooper came to Fairmont after serving as principal at Petersburg High School in Petersburg, W.Va., for 12 years. A 1967 alumnus of Circleville High School, Cooper lettered four years in basketball and baseball and three seasons as quarterback in football. While at CHS, he led the basketball team to 18-3 and 18-4 records his junior and senior years, while making first-team All-Potomac Valley Conference.

Upon graduation, he enrolled at Fairmont State College and lettered four years under Coach Joe Retton. Cooper was the chief driving force in the Falcons' four-year record of 108-15 during his career. He was selected All-WVIAC his junior and senior years, averaging 19.9 and 21.0 points per game respectively. In addition, Cooper was selected first-team NAIA All-American, second-team Associated Press Small College All-American, first-team NAIA All-Tournament and first-team 5'10' and under All-American. He was the West Virginia State Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1971.

He graduated from Fairmont State in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and social studies and became the basketball coach at Petersburg High School. He obtained a master's degree in physical education from West Virginia University in 1978. His seven-year record at Petersburg was 112-45. His teams went to the Class AA state tournament in 1973 and 1975.

Cooper returned to Fairmont State in 1978 as men's assistant basketball coach and instructor in the health, physical education, recreation and safety division. He served as Joe Retton's assistant for four years and became FSC's head coach in 1982. During his three-year stint as head coach, he posted a 53-39 record. Cooper's 1984-85 team posted a 22-9 record and his 1983-84 team won the WVIAC Tournament. Following the 1985 season, Cooper returned to Petersburg High School as principal.

Cooper is married to the former Judy Ann Ours, and they are the parents of three children, Chad, Cassie and Courtney.

David "Scott" Gines will be the next FS Athletic Director. Gines currently serves as Director of Athletics and Sports Management at Dakota Wesleyan University. His appointment becomes effective in February 2005, with an exact date to be determined.