After working for the United States Forest Service fighting
fires on engine and hotshot crews, Philip “Kelly”
Cooper joined the athletic facilities team in 1998. Two years
later, Cooper took over the position of athletic facilities
supervisor and completed his Master of Arts in Education:
Counseling from the University of Redlands.
When Cooper joined the Bulldog staff, he inherited little to no maintenance plans, old equipment, and only one employee. Currently, Cooper’s staff includes three full-time and nine student-employees, and his facilities are among the best-maintained in Division III. As a professional, Cooper is a member of the Sports Turf Manager’s Association. In June 2008, the Toro Company selected him to be among 17 sports turf professionals from around the United States to attend their Sports Fields and Grounds Forum in Minnesota. While there he had the privilege of meeting with Toro engineers and other professionals regarding the sports turf industry.
After earning an Associate of Arts from Shasta Junior College, Cooper began his educational career at the University of Redlands in 1993. As a two-year member of the Bulldog football team, he helped Redlands compile an overall record of 12-5-1. He received First Team All-SCIAC honors as an outside linebacker in 1993. In addition, Cooper played catcher for the 1994 baseball squad and then completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1995.
Cooper describes his life away from Redlands as most importantly, being a dad and a husband to his family. He and his wife, Denise, who also graduated from Redlands, have a son, Cole, and a daughter, Lilly. The children are often seen happily helping their dad at the fields or cheering on the Bulldogs at various events. In his free time, Cooper enjoys hunting, fishing, mountain-biking, hiking and spending time with his family.