"Shorty" was an All State basketball and All Conference football player for Lauderdale County High School 1931-1933. He lettered in both sports at Howard College, which is now Samford University. He was All Dixie and All American in 1936. He was the captain of the team that tied the Alabama Rose Bowl team in 1936. He had a brief stint with the Brooklyn Dodger football team and Goddyear Professional basketball team in the late 1930's. He started his coaching career at Howard College and moved to Vanderbilt as an assistant football coach. While at Vanderbilt he was head baseball coach 1941-42 and 1946-47. He was the head line coach at Kansas and LSU. The 1949 LSU team won the Southeastern Conference Championship and appeared in the 1950 Sugar Bowl. Cooper started Little League baseball in Birmingham and served as president of softball and baseball leagues in the 1950's. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.