The Hall of Famer returns as TSU’s head women’s basketball coach.
Cynthia Cooper, as she was known when she was tearing up the hardwood for the Houston Comets in the WNBA, has returned to the sidelines at Texas Southern University as the head coach of their women’s basketball team.
Now Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, the former WNBA star returns to TSU where she ran the program for the 2012-2013 season before leaving to coach at her Alma matter, USC.
TSU’s new head coach was born in Chicago but raised in California, where she played on the 2x national championship USC teams with Cheryl Miller (1983 and 1984). She left to play ball internationally in Italy and Spain for a decade before returning to the U.S. to play in the WNBA, where she became a legend in only a short period of time.
In her first four seasons with the Houston Comets (1997 – 2000), the team racked up four straight WNBA Championships and she took home numerous awards including league MVP (’97 and ’98) and four straight WNBA Finals MVPs. She is widely recognized as one of the best to ever play the game. She won a gold and bronze medal in the Olympics and was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, the first WNBA player to be inducted into the Hall.
Now’s she back in Texas, where she led the team to a 20-12 record and a women’s NIT bid in her single season with the Lady Tigers.
“I’m thrilled to return to Houston and to Texas Southern, and to my Houston family,” said Cooper-Dyke. “I’m thrilled to lead the Lady Tigers and can’t wait to get started.”
Cooper-Dyke has 12 years of coaching experience on her resume, including HBCU ties with both TSU and Prairie View A&M, the latter where she began her college coaching career. In her five years with the Lady Panthers, the team made the postseason four times.
After she stepped down as USC’s coach, she provided color commentary for TSU home games in the 2017-2018 season. Now she’s back on the sidelines.
“TSU is excited and thrilled to have Coach Cooper back to lead our women’s basketball program,” said TSU’s Vice President of Athletics Kevin Granger in the university’s release. “With her coaching experience and background, we know she will continue the success that our program has experienced.”
“I want to thank (TSU President) Dr. Austin Lane and Kevin Granger for their trust,” Cooper-Dyke said. “I look forward to exceeding their expectations.”