“Dr. Cooper has been the healer, the counselor, the confidant, the father image, to countless students…Young people have several opportunities to meet individuals who will impact their lives, but no one in my opinion has had any more of a positive impact on our state’s young people than Dr. Cooper.”
Dr. Donald L. Cooper, the longtime team physician at Oklahoma State University, was born and raised in Kansas and graduated from Pittsburg’s Kansas State College (now Pittsburg State University) in 1949. He received his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1953 and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force (1954-1956) before becoming team physician and assistant director of student health services at Kansas State University in Manhattan. He came to OSU in 1960 and “guided that university and much of the rest of the world in the area of sports medicine,” retiring as Athletic Director in 1998. He was a prolific author and lecturer and has received many honors, including the Distinguished American Award from the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Among Dr. Donald Cooper’s many firsts are: the first Oklahoma medical doctor on the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports; the first Oklahoma physician to be team medical doctor for the U.S. Olympic team; the only Oklahoma physician to be a Charter Member of the NCAA Committee on Drug Education; and the only Oklahoma physician to receive the Bill Coltrane Memorial Award for Education Efforts to Combat Drug Abuse.
Cooper came to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater as the Director of Health Services in 1960.