Jeanne Cooper, Connecticut – 2017
Starting as a middle school assistant girls’ basketball coach, an assistant softball coach and head volleyball coach (1979-1994) at St. Mary’s (New Haven, CT), Jeanne became the Director of Athletics for Hill House High School (New Haven, CT) from 1994-2002.
From 2002 to 2013, Jeanne was the Athletic Director and Director of Health Education for the Hamden Public Schools. She retired from Hamden in June, 2013 and is currently working as a part time AD at Lauralton Hall, a Catholic College Preparatory School in Milford, CT.
In her 39 years as an educator, coach, director and athletic administrator, she has served on many committees for the support and advancement of girls’ sport opportunities. These include: CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) State Women’s Volleyball Committee, Volleyball Touring Director, volunteering and hosting CIAC dance competitions, CIAC field hockey tournament, SCC League girls basketball finals, and field hockey and lacrosse playoffs and finals.
At Hamden Public Schools she was co-chair of Hamden’s Women’s Sports Federation, a group that honored outstanding female athletes. Jeanne received an award of recognition from the HWSF and an “award of gratitude” from Hill House High School. In 2002, Jeanne received the NAGWS National Pathfinder Award in San Diego. She also received the “Women in Leadership” Award from the Women and Families Center of Central Connecticut, the Robert M. Duncansen Meritorious Service Award from the CIAC, and the National Interscholastic Award of Athletic Administrators in recognition of 20 years of service.
“The greatest gift I have received was watching my student athletes grow. Seeing them start out as timid freshman and blossom into talented athletes has been most rewarding. Starting out coaching inner city volleyball players and seeing one of my athletes get a Division I scholarship was amazing and a dream come true for her. This year I had 6 girls sign to play DI.”
“Think back in the early 70’s the idea of college scholarships wasn’t in our brains.”