KOKOMO, Ind. — Greg Cooper capped off an outstanding tenure as Indiana University Kokomo’s athletic director by receiving the Chancellor’s Medallion.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke presented the medallion — the highest honor she can give — during the campus’s annual athletics end-of-year awards program.
“Greg Cooper’s impact has not only been on our athletic programs, but the entire campus as well, and will be felt for years to come,” she said. “With his leadership, we more than doubled our number of varsity teams, which have won numerous conference awards and honors, bringing great distinction to IU Kokomo. He’s also recruited high quality coaches and student-athletes who have excelled not only in sports competition, but in our classrooms.”
Cooper, who joined the IU Kokomo team in 2015, was surprised and honored to receive the Chancellor’s Medallion, noting that very few are given.
“It’s acknowledgement of the work our department has done, and the impact we’ve made on campus,” he said. “I appreciate the chancellor’s recognition for what we’ve accomplished, and I hope that legacy lives on for quite a long time.”
During his seven years with Cougar athletics, the program grew not only in numbers of teams — from five to 14 varsity sports, and in numbers of student athletes, with about 230 this academic year — but also in student experiences and academic success for those students.
“Our athletes are students first and have experienced every aspect of student life, and earned significant academic honors,” he said. “We’ve helped transform the campus in a variety of ways that are about more than athletics.”
Under Cooper’s leadership, 82 percent of student-athletes have graduated in four years or less, and the campus has achieved a 90 percent student-athlete retention rate year over year. Cougar teams have won 10 conference championships, gone to eight national tournaments, qualified for the Round of 32 six times, and made three Sweet Sixteen appearances.
In addition, Cooper was named the River States Conference athletic director of the year in 2019.
He is now the director of athletics at Heidelberg University, an NCAA Division III school in Tiffin, Ohio. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Otterbein University, and a master’s degree in sports management from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
The chancellor’s medallion is the highest honor given by the chancellor, to those who have given distinguished service, given freely of their talents to promote human welfare and community well-being, and served as exemplary role models for students and alumni through their integrity, leadership, and commitment.