Lifelong Jeannette resident has plenty going on
Dan Cooper's mantra is “It's about the kids” and that is quite evident when standing in his living room where there is a wall of pictures that highlight local athletes over the past 20 years.
A lifelong Jeannette resident and a graduate of Jeannette high school, Cooper has been the equipment coordinator for the high school football program for 20 years.
Cooper is married to the former Leslie Respeski of Sto-Rox and the couple has four children.
Daughter Lenee is 23 years old and works at Macy's, daughter Champagne is 19 and attends Jeannette High School, son Alize goes to Jeannette McKee Middle School and son Elijah is in the fourth grade at McKee Elementary School.
Cooper worked for 19 years at Jeannette Emergency Management Services and during his time there received several community awards, including the Board of Director's Award from EMS.
Cooper is also a professional disk jockey and is the owner of DC L.A.C.E. Productions. L.A.C.E. is an acronym for the names of Cooper's children.
In addition to playing weddings, Sweet 16 parties and local proms, Cooper worked at the club Fat City in Pittsburgh's Strip District for eight years.
He also was involved in the promotion of the soundtrack for the movie “Prince of Egypt” through WAMO radio and received an award from DreamWorks for his participation.
“I met numerous people doing that,” said Cooper. “It is amazing, a guy from Jeannette getting out there.”
Cooper goes and said, “I mostly do all that, so that I can coach.”
Cooper coaches four teams for Jeannette Knee-High Basketball. Teams are kindergarten through third grade, grades four through six, and a seventh- and eighth-grade team.
The kindergarten through third grade team, called DC L.A.C.E., recently lost its first game in three years.
There is also a traveling team of third and fourth graders called the “Jeannette Running Rebels.” These youths are members of the YMCA Youth League.
“They played 13 games and didn't lose a game,” said Cooper, “and we've been playing in tournaments.”
The team started playing last year and travels around Western Pennsylvania. There are 11 youth on the team who have all played Knee-High Basketball. There are five third-graders and six fourth-graders so that there is some experience left on the team when kids transition out.
“They are my pride,” said Cooper.
Cooper has said he gives a lot of the credit for his coaching success to Jesse Bone, Knee-High League Commissioner.
Cooper has been coaching Knee-High for the past five years and is a member of the board of directors. He has coached various Jeannette sports over the past 20 years when his children played on teams or when he was asked to help out.
“I told my good friend Jesse Bone, I would help out because I always help when my kids play, said Cooper. “I do this for the kids. Everything is about the kids. I've had a good life in Jeannette and I think it is a good place to live.”
To learn more about neighbor Dan Cooper and Jeannette Knee-High Basketball visit their Facebook page. There is also a Facebook page for DC L.A.C.E. Productions for anyone in need of music for events.
Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.