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SPORTS BRIEF: Former Decatur basketball coach Keith Cooper not retained by Saint Martin's
Saint Martin's University in Lacey will not retain men's basketball coach Keith Cooper next season, Director of Athletics Bob Grisham announced this week. Cooper coached Decatur High School for five seasons (1995-1999) and led the Gators to five postseason appearances, including three state tournaments.
Cooper finished the 2012-13 season with an 82-71 victory over Central Washington University, closing out 10 seasons as head coach at Saint Martin's.
“We sincerely appreciate Keith's contributions to the University and to our basketball program over the past decade,” said Grisham. “After considerable evaluation, we have resolved to make a change in leadership with the goal of moving our men's basketball program forward.”
“Keith's commitment to his players has never wavered,” added Grisham. “The perseverance and integrity of the many young men Keith has coached over the years are a reflection of his values. We wish Keith every success in his future.”
Cooper was hired as Saint Martin's head coach in 2003 and compiled a record of 116-158 (.423) during his 10 seasons. He came to Saint Martin's after one season as an assistant coach at Seattle Pacific University and, prior to that, two seasons as an assistant coach at Central Washington University.
“I want to thank the Saint Martin's community, especially Bob Grisham, Saint Martin's Abbey members, students, boosters, faculty and alumni, for their support of Saints basketball during my time here,” Cooper said. “It's been an honor to coach such talented, dedicated student-athletes season after season, and to see those young men succeed on and off the court.”
The search for a new men's basketball coach will begin immediately.