USC Adds Women’s Basketball Assistants
Laura Beeman and Michael Cooper II join the Women of Troy coaching staff
USC women’s basketball head coach Michael Cooper has added two new assistant coaches to his staff for the coming season. Laura Beeman and Michael Cooper II have joined the Women of Troy, completing head coach Cooper’s lineup of assistants for his second season at the helm.
“The combination of the two really adds more youthfulness and excitement to our staff,” Cooper said of the new additions.
Laura Beeman and head coach Cooper already have experience coaching side-by-side with the Los Angeles Sparks. Beeman was an assistant under Cooper in 2008 with the Sparks while also continuing her position as head coach at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). A Beeman spent 15 seasons at the helm of the Mt. SAC women’s program, earning four conference Coach of the Year awards before joining USC this year. Also 10-time conference champions, Beeman and the Mounties won three straight California Community College State Championships from 2006-2008, for a total of four state titles during her career at Mt. SAC.
In 2009, Mt. SAC reached the state championship tournament 10 times during Beeman’s career. Her 2007 and 2008 teams set program records for the most wins and fewest losses in a single season, as Mt. SAC went 37-1 both years. Over 100 of her Mt. SAC student-athletes went on to continue their athletic and academic careers at four-year universities. As a player, Beeman was an All-American as Cal State San Bernardino. She set the career, season and game assist records while playing for the Coyotes.
“I brought in coach Beeman for her expertise, because we can use her wisdom and her knowledge,” head coach Michael Cooper said. “She and I have shared coaching in the past and she’s familiar with the recruiting process and younger players. Our players like her and know her, and she adds a special touch for our program. She’s good at Xs and Os and zone offense and press offense and that’s one of the reasons we brought her in. Also, she’s a coach who knows my weaknesses. When a coach picks his staff, he picks people who work well together, and she knows when to step in and take the reins and run with it.”
Michael Cooper II joins the USC coaching staff after multiple years at the professional level and as the founder of a national youth-education company. Cooper II comes to USC from Excel Educational Enterprises, where he coordinated tutoring and youth-enrichment programming in New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania. He started his own company, Coop’s Life Skills Enrichment Program, in 2007.
At the pro level, he worked for the basketball operations and marketing side of the Los Angeles Sparks from 2000-02 and was promoted to scout in 2003. He was later named general manager of the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, helping lead the team to a national championship in his first season. As a player, Cooper II was named the 1999 AP Player of the Year in the state of New Mexico as an athlete at La Cueva High School.
“I brought my son Michael along because he’s been involved with basketball since he was 5,” head coach Cooper said. “He’s played at different levels, and has a great knowledge of the game. Also, he has great knowledge as far as recruiting and identifying players and the needs of our team. He adds a wealth of understanding to our program, too.”
Beeman and Cooper II round out the USC coaching staff consisting of head coach Michael Cooper and assistant coach Mary Wooley, who are entering their second season with the Women of Troy. USC went 19-12 overall in 2009-10, having carried a six-game winning streak into the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals and owning an impressive strength of schedule that included upsets over several ranked teams.
“Our players have a great relationship with the coaches coming in as well as Mary and myself and the rest of our staff,” head coach Cooper said. “The players can see the unification of this staff, and when they see us together tight and cohesive, that makes our team tight and cohesive. I think we’re going to have a tremendous season this coming year.”