Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper has another job at Laurel High School.

Cooper, who is the Spartans’ head football coach, was hired last night as the head boys track and field coach. He succeeds George Miles, who stepped down after the spring campaign.

Cooper was hired by an 8-1 vote. Kevin Patterson cast the no vote.

“I think it’s a great sport,” Cooper said of track and field. “It’s a great opportunity to build upon a program.

“George did a great job over the years. It’s an honor to be the head boys coach at Laurel. I will do everything in my power to run a quality program at Laurel.”

Miles stepped down as boys track coach after holding the position since 1972. Miles also was the head football coach at Laurel and is now a volunteer assistant on Cooper staff. The Spartans are 3-0 this season.

“George has been around forever. I have great admiration for him,” Cooper said. “He knows he has an open invitation to be involved with the track program. That’s up to him. We haven’t really talked about that.”

Cooper, who is 49 and a 1988 Wilmington High graduate, was a track and field coach at Shenango for 26 years prior to getting hired last night at Laurel.

Cooper started his track tenure at Shenango as an assistant for about four years, then as the head girls coach for 19 years before stepping down to serve as an assistant for the last three or four.

“I think it helps a lot,” said Cooper when asked about coaching another sport at the same school. “It helps both programs a lot.

“Having the opportunity to build upon what you are doing with football is big. I enjoyed my time at Shenango. But this was the right time to make the move.”

Cooper knows the level of athletes he will be working with next spring.

“We’ve competed against them; I know they have good athletes,” Cooper said. “I know a lot of the athletes involved and I’m excited at the opportunity.”

Sports Writer

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is a sports writer at the New Castle News. Email him at

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