Grambling State head baseball coach James Copper notched his 200th career coaching victory in a 10-4 and 19-2 doubleheader sweep of Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) foe Arkansas-Pine Bluff on April 20th, in his tenth season as coach of the Tigers.
A native of Cullen, Louisiana, Cooper’s collegiate baseball career started at Grambling, his alma mater, where he was an outfielder, earned All-Conference honors and played under longtime head coach Wilbert Ellis. He was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. He played two seasons in the Astros farm system, reaching Class A, and one season of independent baseball in the CanAm League for the Sussex Skyhawks before ending his playing career.
James Cooper’s coaching career started as an assistant at Grambling to head coach Barret Rey, helping rebuild the Tigers program and qualifying for back to back SWAC Conference Baseball Tournament appearances in three years. In 2010, Cooper was elevated to head coach, leading the Tigers to a SWAC Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Regional in his first year. He earned SWAC Coach of the Year honors and won his 100th game in 2014.
Cooper’s coaching efforts have led to eight players being drafted by Major League Baseball teams. Jeremy Shelby was a 2010 38th round draft pick of Baltimore Orioles, Eldred Barnett, a 2011 29th round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants, Chris Wolfe, a 2012 29th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s, Cory Jordan, a 2013 35th round pick of the Tampa Rays, Edwin Drexler, a 2015 38th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tanner Raiburn, a 2017 33rd round draft pick of the Boston Redsox, Johan Mojica, a 2017 undrafted free agent of the Milwaukee Brewers and Marshawn Taylor, a 2018 28th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.