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Austin Peay hires Brandon Cooper as APSU Football Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach

APSU Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – After a season with Murray State, Brandon Cooper joins Austin Peay State University’s staff as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Cooper is a well-known commodity around the Ohio Valley Conference—his previous stints around the conference include Murray State, Jacksonville State (2011-12) and UT Martin, where he played (2003-06) and got his coaching start (2008-10).

Austin Peay Football Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach Brandon Cooper. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Football Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach Brandon Cooper. (APSU Sports Information)

It was in the Southern Conference with Chattanooga that Cooper and Governors head coach Will Healy crossed paths. Cooper’s two-year stint with the Mocs began in 2013, with the Mocs’ defense leading the Southern Conference in fewest yards allowed per game (329), passing yards allowed per game (152) and points allowed per game (20.5).

The next season, Cooper and the Mocs defense ranked in the FCS top-10  in multiple categories, including first down defense (6th, 15.7 per game), total defense (8th, 277.9), pass defense (9th, 153.2) and scoring defense (12th, 19.7). Cooper was also able to mentor Tommy Hudson, the Mocs All-American punt returner, in 2014.

During his stay at Jacksonville State, Cooper coached the Gamecocks cornerbacks and dime defensive backs. The Gamecocks won the 2011 OVC title, leading the league with 16 interceptions during conference play. A.J. Davis was an All-OVC corner for JSU that season and went on to spend time with the New Orleans Saints. In 2012, he guided cornerback Jermaine Hough to Freshman All-American recognition and a spot on the OVC All-Newcomer team.

Cooper’s tenure as a coach at UT Martin saw the Skyhawks lead the OVC in total defense in 2010, allowing 299.3 yards per game, and the Skyhawks were also the conference leaders in total defense, passing defense, passing-efficiency defense and third-down defense. Cooper assisted with the linebackers and cornerbacks during his time in Martin, with Josh Bey earning All-American honors in 2009.

Cooper was a four-year letterman for the Skyhawks from 2003-06 and helped lead UT Martin to its first OVC Championship as a senior in 2006. The Cincinnati, Ohio native earned his Bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from UT Martin in 2007. Cooper was married in May 2015 to his wife, Natasha.

The Cooper File

College: UT Martin, 2007 (Health and Human Performance)

Coaching

2008-10—UT Martin (linebackers and cornerbacks coach)

2011-12—Jacksonville State (cornerbacks/dime package coach)

2013-14—Chattanooga (nickels/dimes/outside linebackers coach)

2015—Murray State (linebackers coach/special teams coordinator)

Healy on Cooper: “I had an opportunity to work with Coach Cooper at Chattanooga and I was infatuated with his knowledge of the game and his ability to coach every position on defense. His work ethic is unmatched and he’s a phenomenal recruiter and evaluator of talent. He’s had a lot of success in our conference and at this level and he’s a huge addition for us.”

What They’re Saying About Brandon Cooper

“He has great character. He’s very intelligent and very accountable. Coach Cooper is fully capable as a coach and leader.” – Jack Crowe, former Jacksonville State head coach

“Brandon Cooper was a great team leader on our 2006 championship team. He’s a great person with an even brighter future in this business.” – Jason Simpson, UT Martin head coach

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