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Mira Costa's Cooper Remembered as Trusted Trainer, Mentor, Friend

Oct 27, 2018 11:52PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Longtime Mira Costa High School trainer Tim Cooper was remembered fondly and tearfully at a memorial ceremony on Waller Field on Saturday.

Several hundred students, teachers, staff members, alumni, members of the school board, and members of the Manhattan Beach City Council were in attendance, as well as a variety of friends and colleagues from around Southern California.

Cooper, 53, passed away earlier this month following a battle with cancer. He had worked at Mira Costa since 1988.

“All of us have been helped in some way by Tim,” said Mira Costa Principal Ben Dale, adding that Cooper was unique in his ability to bring so many people together. Dale then asked anyone in the audience who had ever been told to "Go see Tim" to stand - bringing more than three-quarters of the crowd to its feet.

Mira Costa football coach Don Morrow said that Cooper had helped literally thousands of people.

“It’s hard to comprehend the staggering influence that this one guy really had,” said Morrow. “His nurturing voice was the one that made the call to the parents of an injured kid…He never left until everyone had gotten the care they needed and deserved.”

Morrow added: “He was a ‘one-namer’ on campus. Kids would say, ‘I’m gonna go see Tim,’ and no one would ever say, ‘Tim who?’…Tim was a true Costa icon – a legend."

Numerous friends, former students, and colleagues came forward to share memories of Cooper. Beach volleyball Olympian Eric Fonoimoana described how Cooper had become a close friend during the time he was helping Fonoimoana rehabilitate. "I needed to glue myself back together, and Tim was my glue," said Fonoimoana. 

Fonoimoana then held up his Olympic gold medal: "I had a dream when I was seven of going to the Olympics - Thank you, Tim, for helping me get there."

Dr. Keith Feder, a colleague and leader at the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation, remembered Cooper fondly and announced that the foundation would create a scholarship in Cooper’s name.

Additionally, a scholarship has been established in Tim Cooper's name through the Sandacre Scholarship Fund. Contact and donation is available on the Mira Costa web site.

Following the ceremony, Dale invited attendees to write messages honoring Cooper on the wall of the gymnasium. The gym is slated to be torn down in December but snapshots of the messages will be preserved.

High above Waller Field, a banner spelling out “Live Like Tim” – the mantra and hashtag that friends and colleagues are using to share memories of Cooper - continues to wave in the breeze.

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