Kyle Cooper enters his first season as Head Coach at Howard College. Cooper comes to Howard after one year as an assistant coach at Tarleton State University. During his time at Tarleton, Cooper helped the program to a school record in WAC conference wins and overall wins in the division 1 era. The team also boasted the school’s first win over a team ranked in the Top 100 of the NCAA Net Rankings all while maintaining a 3.19 GPA.
Prior to Tarleton, Cooper served as the Head Men’s basketball coach at Western Texas College. In his two years, the Westerners had back-to-back Region V tournament appearances, multiple wins against nationally-ranked opponents, several appearances in the NJCAA national rankings, and an overall record of 38-19. The WJCAC tournament championship highlighted the 2021 campaign, the first postseason championship at WTC in nearly forty years. At the WJCAC conference tournament, the Westerners defeated the No. 3 team in the country to advance to the championship round. Six players received WJCAC All-Conference honors under Cooper, and one player received All-Region honors. Eleven players signed to play at four-year universities.
During his first season at WTC, Cooper coached the Westerners to a 23-11 record and the semifinals of the Region V tournament. The twenty-three wins tied for the most wins at WTC since 1984. The Westerners ranked in the national polls for five consecutive weeks during that season, reaching No.11. At the Region V tournament, the Westerners upset the No. 3 ranked team in the country to advance.
Prior to his time in Snyder, Cooper spent one season as the top assistant coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Bulldogs finished 20-6 for the program’s first 20-win season since 2011-12. Known for his defensive tenacity, Cooper’s Bulldog defense finished No. 3 in the nation at the junior college level in points allowed per game and No. 6 on Massey Ratings in overall defense. After extending the longest MACJC postseason streak with its 21st consecutive postseason appearance, Gulf Coast maintained a flawless 100-percent graduation rate and sent five athletes to four-year programs.
Cooper broke into the coaching industry in 2011 and spent his first six seasons as an assistant and associate head coach for North Iowa Area Community College. During his stint in Iowa, Cooper helped lead the Trojans to five consecutive winning seasons for the first time in a quarter-century. He recruited the program’s first-ever two-time All-American, 17 all-region players, and 15 players who would continue their career at the next level – six of whom eventually went on to professional careers overseas. From there, he landed his first head coaching gig at Little Priest Tribal College, where he spent one season and improved the team from two wins to 14 – including an upset of the nation’s defending national champion and No. 1-ranked program – before heading to Gulf Coast.
Cooper also played for NIACC, where he was a first-team All-Region player. He was an all-state athlete at West Plains High School in Missouri, where he led his team to its first-ever consecutive district championships. After getting his associate’s degree at North Iowa, he graduated from Waldorf University with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a master’s in the same field with an emphasis in sports management.
Cooper lives in Big Spring with his wife Nicole Cooper, their daughter Mia, and the family plans to welcome their second daughter this August.
Phone: (432) 264-5044