By Adam Gore/ICC Sports Information Department
FULTON – Itawamba Community College Athletic Director Carrie Ball-Williamson has announced that college basketball’s only husband-wife coaching tandem, Marty and Jennifer Cooper, will be stepping down at the end of the season.
“This is something we’ve been thinking about for a couple of years and more seriously before the season,” said Coach Marty Cooper. “Family time with our daughter McKenzie (11) is very important for both Jen and I and that’s something we as a family are really looking forward to being a bigger part of our lives.”
Marty will be assuming responsibilities in the college’s graduation initiative while Jennifer will remain an instructor in the Natural Science Division at ICC.
During his 14 years at ICC, Cooper has won four MACJC North Division titles (2002, 07, 08, 09), one MACJC Championship (08), three NJCAA Region 23 Championships (02, 07, 08) and three NJCAA Tournament appearances (02, 07, 08). He has a record of 250-134 career wins and coming into this season his ICC basketball program had won the most Region 23 games (110), the best Region 23 winning percentage of .728 (110-41) and had the most win in the North Division (45) in the past five seasons.
“After being a head coach for the past 21 years, I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m ready for a new challenge and hopefully with my new position I’ll have a larger impact on our students than just the basketball team.”
After six seasons as a collegiate assistant coach, the Jackson, Ohio native earned his first collegiate head coaching job at East Central Community College, where he led the Warriors to two South Division championships, two South State tournament championships and three-straight state championship games, winning the 1993 MACJC title. He left Decatur for Fulton with an overall record of 116-81.
“I am extremely thankful for all the players that have come through our program, Carrie Ball-Williamson, Mike Eaton and of course, Dr. David Cole,” Cooper said. “I also want to say a couple of special thanks to the guy who hired me here at ICC, Roy Cresap, and for all of the help I received over the years from the legendary coach Buster Davis.”
Ball-Williamson says the search for the next men’s basketball coach will start immediately.
“Coach Cooper had a great run during his 14 years as our basketball coach,” said Ball-Williamson. “Although he will be serving the college in a different capacity, he will certainly be missed on the court.”
For more information on ICC basketball and the eight other intercollegiate athletic programs visit the college website at www.iccms.edu.