This is a Great Story About Passion and Right Place, Right Time
This is a great story about a young man who just fell into his livelihood. Years ago, I was privileged to have a young man do the Mad Dog Show with me. It’s an absolute unbelievable Horatio Alger story. Not exactly rags to riches, but just a great story.
This is how it goes. Years ago, I was looking for a hockey specialist for my show. I called Joey Campbell who played hockey at MSU. I asked him if he would like to sit in with me. I knew Joey from high school at Lansing Catholic Central. His brother T. Campbell from Tunes by T graduated with me in 1977 from LCC. So, Joey said he was too busy but he knew a guy named Jon Cooper who he thought could do it. I called Jon Cooper; he was Lansing Catholic’s hockey coach at the time.
Cooper said "sure but I have never been on the radio before." I said no problem, I will help you and just fake it. How Jon Cooper became LCC’s head coach is another great story too. The Cougars needed a hockey coach and his name was referred to Judge Tom Brennan. The judge contacted him and convinced him to take the job. They had run out of options, and Cooper took the job. That’s where it all began.
Anyway, Cooper coached the high school team for a while until another opportunity came around. There is a team out of Lansing called the Capital City Pride. It consisted of younger guys. Drew Miller, the former Spartan and Red Wing player, was on that team. Cooper is a lawyer by occupation and was in a firm across from Frandor with Jill Kopec.
So Jon Cooper was a lawyer, Junior Hockey head coach, and he was on the Mad Dog Show for at least a year. Then Jon Cooper tells me he’s leaving the Lansing area to pursue his passion and coach hockey in the minors. This is where the story gets great.
I’m watching an NHL game and the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing. The broadcaster is talking about first year head coach Jon Cooper. I said to myself that can’t be the guy that talked hockey on my show. I watch until they show him on the bench. It was actually Jon Cooper that was on my show and was LCC’s head coach! He has been a head hockey coach in the NHL for the past seven years. Unbelievable.
In a nutshell, Barry Melrose, who is a former NHL head coach and NHL analyst, told me Cooper made a name for himself in the minors and Steve Yzerman hired him. And now Jon Cooper will lead his team to win a Stanley Cup. Good luck to him!