St. Benedict names new head football coach

Coach Cooley meets with members of the SBA football coaching staff.                              
Coach Cooley meets with members of the SBA football coaching staff.

St. Benedict Athletic Director Caleb Marcum announced Tuesday that John Cooley has accepted the position as head coach of the SBA Football Team.

Cooley also joins the teaching staff in the Social Studies and Physical Education Departments at the school.

Marcum said, “We’re excited about having Coach Cooley come aboard. He knows the game thoroughly as proven by his success over the years. But, more importantly, he knows how to develope boys into productive young men and citizens. Coach also has great leadership skills with experience in multiple sports.”

Since 2015, Cooley has worked in the Marion, Ark. School District. He has also worked in the DeSoto County System and the Memphis City School System.

Cooley has an overall coaching record of 221-125-1. During his tenure at Memphis Ridgeway High School (1981-2007), he won six district/region championships, advancing to the State Play-offs 18 out of 22 years there.

His team won the State Championship in 2002 and was named Coach of the Year in 2002 and Region Coach of the Year nine times.

He received the prestigious Rex Award from the Memphis Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and was Head Coach for the Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game in 2006.

Cooley, who lives in Bartlett, played at Harding University, where he was a three-year Letterman.

SBA principal Sondra Morris said, “Adding Coach Cooley to our athletic staff gives us solid footing as we continue to build our football program. He brings experience, success and energy to the program and our school. He is a dedicated student-focused coach and educator with over 30 years of proven experience in developing young athletes.”

Coach Cooley met with the SBA football team and coaching staff this afternoon and looks forward to spring practice and summer workouts.