NFHS to honor longtime leader in Mississippi officiating

Harold Cooper of Jackson has been honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for his more than 40 years of dedication and service as a high school game official for football, basketball and baseball.

Mr. Cooper, 68, is the recipient for this year’s Official Citation by the NFHS and will be recognized July 1 during the organization’s 97th annual summer meeting at Reno, Nev.

A 1965 graduate of Brinkley High School in Jackson, Mr. Cooper currently serves as rules and mechanics interpreter for the Mississippi High School Activities Association as well as assigning secretary for the Middle Mississippi Officials Association for both football and basketball. Mr. Cooper also organizes and hosts a number of clinics designed to evaluate and enhance officiating on the high school level.

His work on the college level has included numerous conferences from the NCAA Division I to the NAIA levels.

“Because of his knowledge, particularly in basketball and football, we use Harold Cooper as our in-state expert for rules interpretations,” MHSAA assistant director Robert Holloway said. “He is a sounding board whenever I have an issue with anything pertaining to football or basketball officiating.

“This honor could not have happened to a better person or someone more respected in the field. He has been a mentor for a number of our officials who have gone on from high school to Division I to even levels beyond. Coop is always trying to assist officials. That still is his No. 1 goal: How can he help someone become a better official.”

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