Former assistant for Greenwood leading Braves

When Brett Cooper received and accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Indian Creek, he fired off a quick text message that read: “Week 2.” Greenwood coach Mike Campbell knew exactly what it meant.

Cooper, an assistant coach for Campbell and the Woodmen from 2010-12, will be returning to Johnson County to coach the Braves — who host the Woodmen on Aug. 25.

Cooper’s hiring was officially approved at Thursday’s Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school board meeting. He replaces longtime Braves coach Mike Gillin, who accepted the head coaching position at Mooresville in December.

“I’m beyond excited,” Cooper said. “Replacing a guy like Mike Gillin is never easy to do, but I’m walking in to a program that has a great foundation and clearly is surrounded by great people. … There’s not much better a situation I could walk into for my first job.”

Cooper is currently teaching physical education at Massillon Washington High School in Ohio, where he coached the quarterbacks the past two seasons and served as the offensive coordinator in 2016.

A 2007 graduate of North Park University in Chicago, Cooper spent two seasons on the staff at Warren Central before serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Indianapolis (where he coached alongside Gillin’s son Casey) in 2009.

Following his three-year stint at Greenwood, he spent two seasons at Princeton High School in Cincinnati. From there, he moved on to Massillon, helping the team to an 8-3 record last season and guiding an offense that averaged more than 34 points a night.

He’s bounced around quite a bit over the past decade, but Cooper says he’s ready to settle in for the long haul.

“I’m tired of moving,” he said. “But everything I’ve done has had a reason and has been an upward move, and this is the next step in the progression of my career.

“I want to be embedded in a community for a long period of time.”

Campbell said that Cooper “is a smart football guy, and he’s got a lot of energy, that’s for sure. He will definitely be an energetic coach for them.”

There should be a little extra energy for that Week 2 showdown between the Braves and the Woodmen, but Cooper isn’t ready to focus too much on that game just yet.

“It’ll be a lot of fun,” he said, “but we’ve got North Putnam long before that.”

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.