Rick Cooper retires as WTAMU head basketball coach - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Rick Cooper retires as WTAMU head basketball coach

Canyon, Texas -
Canyon, Texas - Long time head coach Rick Cooper won't be on the bench coaching the West Texas A&M Buffaloes.

A press conference was held  Thursday afternoon at the First United Bank Center, where just seven games into the season coach Cooper announced his retirement. Cooper, WT's winningest coach of all-time, finishes his career with more than five-hundred victories as a head coach.

For the first time in more than thirty years, Cooper says he is unsure of what he will do with his time.

"I'm scared to death. I'm going to tell everyone in this room, I'm really frightened. This has been my identity for 32 years, and that's a long time. I've coached at basically two schools. I sure as heck hope Vinay doesn't look up one day and I'm standing in the doorway because I just did that out of habit for the past 21 years. That could happen," Cooper said.

But it's not just at WT, Cooper comes in 10th among Division II coaches with 543 wins. An impressive way to end his career. Another highlight, Cooper also brought the Buffs to the Elite Eight in the 97-98 season.

But taking over for the rest of the season will be long time Cooper assistant, and current associate head coach Vinay Patel. Patel, a Shamrock, Texas native has spent nine years on the side-lines at WT most of which was along-side Cooper.

In the press conference an emotional Patel spoke of the mentoring he received from Cooper, and how it will benefit him moving forward.He says while this is not the way he would've wanted it, he will relish the opportunity.

"I don't plan on making any big changes at all. Everything we're doing right now, coach and I put in place together. I don't think it is necessarily his offense or defense. I've always considered it our offense and our defense. So, I don't see any big changes. I've told the guys that today. We're going to keep doing the things that we're supposed to do, and expectations are still the same at this basketball team." Patel said.

Patel will make his debut Saturday as the Buffs take on the Newman Jets down in Canyon. Tip-off is set for 4 o'clock.


  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Duncan doctor acquitted of assault and battery

    Duncan doctor acquitted of assault and battery

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:17:30 GMT
    Duncan,OK_ A Stephens County jury acquitted Dr. Oscar Morales Friday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The jury deliberated just over six hours before reaching their decision. Throughout his trial, Morales admitted to shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend, Kelly McKinnon, in front of her home in August of last year, moments after he went there to drop off their children. He claimed he shot McKinnon in self-defense when he was confronted and feared for his life. The state...
    Duncan,OK_ A Stephens County jury acquitted Dr. Oscar Morales Friday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The jury deliberated just over six hours before reaching their decision. Throughout his trial, Morales admitted to shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend, Kelly McKinnon, in front of her home in August of last year, moments after he went there to drop off their children. He claimed he shot McKinnon in self-defense when he was confronted and feared for his life. The state...
  • Wreck snarls traffic on I-44

    Wreck snarls traffic on I-44

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:15:30 GMT
    Comanche County, OK_A three-car crash on I-44 Friday afternoon shut down traffic for about 90 minutes. Investigators say one car had stopped on the highway just south of the Elgin exit because of mechanical problems. Another car had slowed to avoid it, but was rear-ended by a third car. That impact knocked it into the broken-down car. No one was hurt.
    Comanche County, OK_A three-car crash on I-44 Friday afternoon shut down traffic for about 90 minutes. Investigators say one car had stopped on the highway just south of the Elgin exit because of mechanical problems. Another car had slowed to avoid it, but was rear-ended by a third car. That impact knocked it into the broken-down car. No one was hurt.
  • Superhero marathon fun for kids, benefits schools

    Superhero marathon fun for kids, benefits schools

    Aug 29, 2014 11:31 PM2014-08-30 04:02:22 GMT
    KSWO is offering cash awards for schools with the highest percentage of participation in the Spirit of Survival Superhero Kids' Marathon on October 5.
    KSWO is offering cash awards for schools with the highest percentage of participation in the Spirit of Survival Superhero Kids' Marathon on October 5.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.