St. Louis Bandits head coach Jon Cooper has been named one of five finalists for the 2007 United States Olympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award.
Cooper, who also serves as the Bandits' general manager, led the team to their first USA Hockey Tier II Junior A National Championship in 2006-07. The team set records for regular-season wins and playoff wins en route to its first NAHL South Division title.
Last August, Cooper guided the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a second-place finish at the 2007 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Strakonice, Czech Republic.
Under Cooper's tutelage, Pat Maroon became the first Bandit to be named the NAHL’s Most Valuable Player. More than 50 of Cooper’s former Bandits are playing collegiate hockey and five have been drafted into the NHL.
The award will be presented on April 15 during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit in Chicago.
The Bandits have clinched the 2007-08 NAHL regular-season title with a record of 44-9-2 for a total of 90 points.
Other coaches nominated for the award include Bob Gunter (diving), Jimmy Kim (taekwondo), Joanne P. McCallie (women’s basketball) and Paul Yetter (swimming).