Jaguars promote Cooper to head baseball coach

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Former Augusta State standout and current assistant coach Chris Cooper was officially named head baseball coach, according to an announcement Friday afternoon from Augusta State athletic director Clint Bryant.

Cooper replaces Skip Fite, who resigned Thursday after 25 seasons as head coach to take over as head coach at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga.

One of the top power hitters in school history, Cooper recently completed his ninth year with the Jaguars' program and his seventh year as an assistant coach.

"I'm very delighted to promote Chris to head baseball coach," Bryant said. "He is one of our own. He played here and has been a loyal and dedicated employee for several years. I'm impressed with his knowledge of the game and attention to detail in all that he does. Chris is a tremendous young man and we look forward to his leadership of our baseball program."

Cooper joined the coaching staff as a student assistant coach in 2002. He became a graduate assistant coach in 2005 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2007. Cooper also served as the Department of Athletics' Strength and Conditioning Coordinator in 2008.

A two-year letterwinner in 2001 and 2002, Cooper batted .326 as a senior first baseman in 2002. He led the team in slugging percentage (.674), RBI (59), doubles (14), triples (2), home runs (16), put outs (360) and double plays (21). He was a first team All-Peach Belt Conference selection as well as a first-team, All-South Atlantic Region pick.

"I would like to thank coach Bryant, (Augusta State president) Dr. (William) Bloodworth, and everyone at Augusta State for this tremendous opportunity," Cooper said. "I look forward to continuing to build a competitive program at the conference, regional and national levels. I would also like to thank coach Fite, not only for what he has done for this university and the baseball program, but for what he has done for my career and the opportunities he has given me."

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