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Cooper-Dyke Comes Home

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Co-written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

With her jersey already hanging in the Galen Center rafters, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is returning to Troy as the new head coach of USC women's basketball. Owner of two NCAA Championships, an Olympic gold medal and four WNBA titles as a player, Cooper-Dyke brings instant credibility to the Trojan sideline after resurrecting three programs in her eight-year collegiate head coaching career.

cynthia_cooper_spokeo.jpg"If you were to ask me what my dream job was at any point in my coaching career, I would always have said my dream is to come back and lead the USC women's basketball team," Cooper-Dyke said. "I'm literally living the dream coming back to California and being named the new women's basketball coach at USC."


"In Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, we have a proven winning coach who happens to be a USC basketball icon," Haden said. "She was a part of the best basketball ever played here at USC, and she has seen success at so many levels of the game. As a coach she has turned around several programs. We believe she can lead USC back to successful women's basketball, and we welcome her back to the USC campus."

Cooper-Dyke played for the Trojans from 1982 to 1986, leading the team to three Final Four appearances and back-to-back NCAA titles. In her four seasons at USC, the team posted an astounding 114-15 record. 

She won gold with Team USA in 1988 and added a bronze in 1992. In 2010, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame alongside hoops greats such as Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen and Dr. Jerry Buss. 

Cooper-Dyke had an illustrious WNBA career winning four consecutive championships for the Houston Comets from 1997 to 2000 before retiring. The guard led the league in scoring in three consecutive seasons, grabbed WNBA MVP trophies in '97 and '98, and All-Star honors three times in her four years.

Cooper-Comets.jpg"Some people, when they hire a coach, the athletic department hits a home run," said Van Chancellor, Cooper's head coach with the Houston Comets. "Southern California has hit a grand slam, with two out and down three with the bases loaded. They hit it out of the park. This is one of the greatest hires. She's the perfect fit.

"She's the hardest working person I've ever been around. She's a recruiting machine and she loves Southern California. As a player she had the most tenacity, she was gritty, hard-nosed and hard-working. And she possesses the same characteristics as a coach as she did as a player. They better tie up their shoe laces in Southern California and tie them up now!"

In 2005, Cooper-Dyke became the head coach at Prairie View A&M University where she led the Panthers to their first NCAA tournament bid in just her second season. She went on to coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2010, and led the Seahawks to a school-record 24 wins and their first postseason appearance in her first season there.

Cooper-Dyke comes to USC after coaching one year at Texas Southern University.   She owns a 150-106 (.586) career head coaching record.

1 Comment

Welcome back Cynthia!!

To Pat Haden: This is USC. Your words need to be a little stronger than "Lead USC back to successful basketball". Cynthia needs to lead USC back to NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP basketball!!

You are the only person who grades coaches on a curve. WIN. NATIONAL. CHAMPIONSHIPS. These are the only words that matter and will be your ultimate performance evaluation.

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