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July 16, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; July 16, 2014 - Head baseball coach Rob Cooper, who was announced as the Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year in October, is set to be presented with the award on Thursday (July 17). The presentation will take place at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner hosted at the downtown Jonathan Club in Los Angeles. Cooper is the 16th individual in the award's history to receive the honor.
"I am truly blessed to receive this honor," said Cooper. "I have so much respect for Coach Dedeaux and what he did for collegiate and international baseball. I want to thank USA Baseball, Paul Seiler, my assistant coaches and the 20 `Band of Brothers' that I was lucky to coach. I also want to give a special thanks to Brant Ust for believing in me and helping me realize a dream of winning a gold medal."
The honor is bestowed annually in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USA Baseball Coach of the Year award is given to the National Team manager or coach who expects excellence out of his players; a coach who not only strives for his players to succeed but to become better human beings as well. The award was first presented in 1996.
Cooper steered the 18U National Team to an 8-1 record in World Cup play, which took place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8, 2013, including seven consecutive victories to finish out the gold-medal run.
"Coach Cooper and the 18U National Team continued the high-level of success that program has come to expect the last couple of years," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "We had a remarkable summer across all our amateur programs and have a well-deserving group of winners being honored."
The 18U National Team that Cooper coached received many of the USA Baseball top awards. To go along with Cooper's Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year accolade, the 18U National Team was recognized as USA Baseball's Team of the Year and a member from the team captured the International Performance of the Year.
Cooper, who completed his first season at the helm of Penn State baseball in 2014, was named head coach on August 19, 2013, becoming the 14th coach in the 125-year history of the Nittany Lion baseball program.