Keanon Cooper is in his first season as a defensive graduate assistant at Minnesota.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Cooper was an assistant coach and led the linebackers at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.
Cooper played linebacker for the Gophers from 2008-12 and earned four letters. He was a team captain in 2012 and played his final two years under defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who is now Minnesota’s head coach.
The Dallas, Texas, native played in 50 games for the Maroon and Gold and made 257 tackles, which included 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks. He also broke up five passes and forced five fumbles.
Cooper was also the first Gopher to receive the Gary Tinsley Award in 2012. The award is named after Cooper’s former roommate and Minnesota teammate Gary Tinsley and is presented annually to the player who best embraces Tinsley's underdog persona. Tinsley was a linebacker for Minnesota from 2008-11 and passed away in April 2012.
Cooper earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Minnesota in 2012. He was also named Academic All-Big Ten three times.
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