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Friday, June 4, 2010
Cooper adds to his staff

By Pedro Moura

USC women's basketball coach Michael Cooper added two assistants to his coaching staff Friday, announcing the hiring of Michael Cooper II and Laura Beeman.

The hirings come three months after Cooper chose not to retain associate head coach Ervin Monier and assistant Kelley Gibson, who each spent the 2009-2010 season with the program.

Cooper II and Beeman will complete the USC coaching staff alongside second-year assistant Mary Wooley.

"The combination of the two really adds more youthfulness and excitement to our staff," Cooper said in a statement.

Beeman has been a longtime junior college coach at Mt. San Antonio College but also served one year under Cooper with the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. She was a four-time conference Coach of the Year at Mt. Sac.

Cooper II, 28, has never been a coach at any level but has also worked under his father with the Sparks in basketball operations, marketing and scouting. He also started his own youth-enrichment company three years ago that reportedly works with Boys & Girls clubs, juvenile detention centers and parks and recreation departments nationwide.

In the elder Cooper's first season with the Women of Troy, USC made it to the brink of qualification for the NCAA Tournament but missed out barely, earning "snub" status from women's college basketball analysts. This is Cooper's first offseason with the team, as he didn't finish his previous job with the Sparks until October of last year.

"Our players have a great relationship with the coaches coming in as well as Mary and myself and the rest of the staff," Cooper said. "The players can see the unification of this staff, and when they see us together, tight and cohesive, that makes our team tight and cohesive.

"I think we're going to have a tremendous season this coming year."