The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Ben Cooprider changes role

Ben Cooprider transitions to administartion after nine years of coaching baseball

For Ben Cooprider, the new assistant athletic director, it’s all about student and community engagement. “People forget about the role of community engagement in my job,” Cooprider said. “One of my favorite parts of having a $90 million facility in this small town is that it’s a resource for everyone. The six-year-olds in town can swim in a world-class pool and then watch our teams play for free on Saturday afternoon. This is a special connection that I’m lucky to work on to make them feel welcome enough to call it home.”

Formerly the assistant baseball coach, Cooprider has spent the summer putting the finishing touches on a transition to an administrative position within the Bear Athletic Center. Now the assistant athletic director, “Coop” helms a plethora of tasks such as overseeing day-to-day maintenance within the Bear, managing a variety of different student workers and taking ten teams under his supervision while he helps fill in for Athletic Director Andy Hamilton, who is on sabbatical for the 2018-19 academic year.

However, Cooprider’s role at the College has developed considerably since he first came on as the assistant men’s football and baseball coach.

“I wanted to be the head coach of a baseball program coming right out of college and Grinnell seemed to be the perfect place to start,” Cooprider said. “It was a Division III program and a high academic setting, with students that I saw a lot of myself in.”

In 2013, Cooprider added a more administrative position to his resume. He became responsible for working with Grinnell’s Facilities Management department on the maintenance and upkeep of the Bear. What started out as a side job has turned into a demanding responsibility that includes issues such as budget and community engagement.

After ten years of coaching teams, Cooprider’s transition to a full administrative role in the Bear was complete as of June.

“I have had this job for three years, and my role hasn’t drastically changed, so for right now it doesn’t feel much different from last year,” Cooprider said. “But I do have more time now so I’m trying to focus on engagement, rules and education within the coaching staff. I’m working to ensure Grinnell complies with every NCAA and MWC regulation and bylaws, so that’s working with coaches and student athletes on knowing the rules, understanding the rules, accountability and transparency.”

Leaving baseball wasn’t easy for Cooprider, but he’s found a way to approach his new job with the same priorities: the ability to engage with students and student-athletes.

“The short answer? Leaving was awful,” Cooprider said. “But day to day I’ve still been able to engage with students, which is my favorite part of the job. Throughout my career I’ve been coaching, and now I can coach a line judge in volleyball in much the same way as I can coach a baseball player. It’s coaching in another way, which has helped me use the experience I have for this new challenge.”

Looking ahead, Cooprider does n’t know what’s next. “There’s plenty of room to grow within this position but its more than that,” Cooprider said. “Being part of this community, my wife is a Grinnell graduate, my family has settled in here. We are so connected to this town and community that I can’t envision not working here.”

Ben Cooprider transitions to administration after nine years of coaching baseball
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *