As one of the top offensive threats in Augusta State Baseball history, head coach Chris Cooper certainly knows what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level.
Now in his fourth season at the helm of the Jaguar Baseball program, Cooper continues to put his own stamp on the Diamond Jaguars.
Named to the post by ASU Director of Athletics Clint Bryant on Friday, June 26, 2009, Cooper has recharged the Jaguar program with an infectious enthusiasm and work ethic.
After a 16-31 mark in his inaugural season in 2010, Cooper continued the building process last year. The Jags registered a nine-win improvement in 2011 and caught fire down the stretch, winning five of their last seven games while advancing all the way to the championship game of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in Columbus, Ga.
In his 13th year of affiliation with ASU Baseball, Cooper spent seven years as an assistant coach from 2003-2009. He also served as the Department of Athletics’ Strength & Conditioning Coordinator during the 2008-09 school year.
Cooper first joined the Jaguar coaching staff as a student assistant coach beginning in the fall of 2002. He assumed the role of graduate assistant coach in 2005 and climbed to the assistant coach post in the fall of 2007.
“I’m very delighted to promote Chris to head baseball coach,” Bryant said. “He is one of our own. He played here and has been a loyal and dedicated employee for several years. I’m impressed with his knowledge of the game and attention to detail in all that he does. Chris is a tremendous young man and we look forward to his leadership of our baseball program.”
One of the top power hitters in Augusta State history, Cooper was a two-year letterwinner and first baseman for the Jags from 2000-02. During his senior season for the Jaguars in 2002, Cooper batted .326.
He led the team in slugging percentage (.674), RBI (59), doubles (14), triples (2), home runs (16), put outs (360) and double plays (21). He was a first team All-Peach Belt Conference selection as well as a first-team, all-South Atlantic Region pick.
A native of Lakeland, Fla., Cooper prepped at East Bay High School in Gibsonton, Fla. Prior to arriving in Augusta, Cooper was a two-year letterwinner at Santa Fe (Fla.) Community College.
Cooper earned his bachelor’s degree in Health & Kinesiology from ASU in 2005, and received his master’s degree in Arts & Teaching from ASU in 2007.
An avid golfer, Cooper is married to the former Erica Eppenbrock of Appling, Ga.
A former Augusta State standout, Augie Rodriguez is in his
fourth year as assistant coach with the Jaguar Baseball
Rodriguez's primary duties center around handling the ASU pitching staff and tutoring the Jags' pitch corps. He also serves as fourth-year head coach Chris Cooper's right-hand man.
A former teammate of Cooper's at ASU, Rodriguez spent six years playing professional baseball in the United States and abroad, including stops in Puerto Rico and Europe. He notched a 6-9 record with a 4.01 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 112 innings during his stint in the minor leagues, averaging just 1.42 walks per nine innings in 2006 while pitching for the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League.
A native Augustan, Rodriguez played two seasons for former ASU head coach, Skip Fite, from 2000-02 after beginning his collegiate career in 1998, playing for Glenn Eames at Darton College in Albany, Ga.
Rodriguez was a prep standout at nearby Hephzibah High School and earned three letters from 1994-97.