You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

WSU's Cooper to coach 18-U national team


When Wright State baseball coach Rob Cooper first put on the Team USA uniform as an assistant coach six years ago, a fellow coach told him the national anthem would sound different. The uniform just brought more meaning to what he was doing.

Cooper soon will put on the national uniform again. He was named head coach of the 18-and-under national team on Sunday and will make his Team USA managerial debut at the International Baseball Federation 18-U World Championships this summer.

“I’m beyond humbled and every excited and honored to do it,” Cooper said. “It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do as a coach. To be the head coach of a USA team, to me it’s the pinnacle of what you’re doing.”

Cooper was an assistant coach on the 2007 and 2009 collegiate national teams. His ninth season at Wright State has already begun as the Raiders began individual workouts this week.

Cooper said his job with the national team will begin in June in Cary, N.C. A group of 100 players will try out for the team and be cut down to 40. At the end of August, that group will be trimmed again to the final roster of 20 players.

Cooper will have plenty of help figuring out what 20 players to pick.

“There’s only game going on, and you’ve got a lot of eyes on it,” he said. “There’s myself and three other coaches on the staff. It’s not an exact science, but we’re going to do our best.”

Cooper’s first experience with the national team came when he was coaching at Sacramento City College. He went to Joplin, Mo., to help pick the players for the 18-U team. While there, he coached one of the teams and had a young catcher named Joe Mauer on his team.

Last year, Cooper coached at the 17-U National Team Development Program and got to know many of the players who will be trying out for this year’s 18-U team.

Of course, with this job comes some pressure. The 18-U team has won back-to-back gold medals.

“All I can do is screw it up,” Cooper joked. “It’s our pastime. Obviously, we want to go out and show the United States is very good at it. Our goal is to put out our best group.”

Before he gets to work with the national team, Cooper will concentrate on Wright State’s season. The Raiders start the season Feb. 15 against Temple with the first of four games at the Team USA complex in Cary. Their early-season schedule also includes three games at Clemson and three at UCLA.

Wright State’s home opener on its new turf is Feb. 26 against Xavier.

“I like our team as far as how hard they’re working, their energy and their commitment to each other,” Cooper said. “We’ve got some questions to answer. Who’s going to have what role? Who’s going to do what? I think we can be pretty good. It’s going to take us a little while to find our legs.”

The Raiders finished 37-21 last season. They were on top of the Horizon League all season last year until they were swept by Milwaukee in the final series. Then they were eliminated by Youngstown State in the third game of the conference tournament.

“I think there are some guys who didn’t like the way it ended last year,” Cooper said. “But it’s a different group. It’s not last year. All they can take care of is what’s in front of them.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins
Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins

Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller looked back Monday on victories against Richmond and Saint Louis, talking with WHIO’s Larry Hansgen and fans during the coach’s show at Fricker’s on Woodman Drive. Here are some highlights: On the two wins last week: “It was a good week for us. Anytime you can come off the road with a two-game...
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season

In case you needed another indication Nick Senzel has a bright future, here you go: MLB.com rated the Cincinnati Reds’ most-recent No. 1 draft pick the second-best third-baseman prospect out there. The former Tennessee standout was already named the Reds’ best prospect by Baseball America after a super season with the Dayton Dragons last...
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future

As long as the Steelers have the best quarterback in the AFC North, they figure to be contenders to win the division. But what if Ben Roethlisberger weren’t back in Gold and Black next season? Appearing on 93.7 The Fan radio in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, he said he is “going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options.&rdquo...
Erin Andrews diagnosed with cervical cancer during 2016 NFL season
Erin Andrews diagnosed with cervical cancer during 2016 NFL season

Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews tapped into the toughness of the athletes whom she covers on the field when she faced a cancer diagnosis during the 2016 NFL season. Andrews was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2016. The Fox Sports analyst said she was determined not to miss a single game, even though she required surgery. According to a MMQB...
Cincinnati Bengals sign former Miami RedHawks linebacker
Cincinnati Bengals sign former Miami RedHawks linebacker

The Bengals on Tuesday signed free agent linebacker Bryson Albright, a Miami University product and Cincinnati native, to a Reserve/Future contract. Albright, a St. Xavier High School grad, will not be counted against the team’s active list until Feb. 6, the day after the Super Bowl. Albright (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is classified as a first-year...
More Stories