Coppin State Eagles

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Past Conferences: Potomac Intercollegiate Conference
City: Baltimore, Maryland

Arena: Physical Education Complex
NCAA Tournaments: 4 (1990, 1993, 1997, 2008)
Championships:
National Championships – 0
Conference Titles – 11 (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2021)

Team History

Coppin State began its basketball program in the 1964-65 season under coach Dr. Cyril Byron, who may have realized he wasn’t cut out for coaching. Byron left after one season, as the team went 1-14. After three years as an independent school, Coppin State became an NAIA program in 1967–68. John Bates became coach in 1974-75 and the team was 19-7 and followed that up the following season with a 39-2 record and the NAIA championship.

Coppin State made the move to Division I when it joined the MEAC for the 1985-86 season, which turned out to be the last season for Bates as coach. He was replaced by Fang Mitchell for the 1986-87 season. In Mitchell’s fourth season, the Eagles won the MEAC conference tournament, earning the team’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Coppin State returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1992-93 and again in 1996-97, when they upset second-seeded South Carolina in the opening round. It was Coppin State’s only victory over a ranked team. The Eagles are 0-54 in other games against ranked teams. Proving that was no fluke, the Eagles gave Texas everything it wanted in the second round, but the Longhorns were able to escape with an 82-81 win. Coppin State would have been the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16, a feat that was done in 2013 by Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts in 2021.

Coppin State’s final NCAA Tournament appearance was an unlikely one, as the Eagles finished tied for seventh in the conference standings. Two one-point victories in the opening rounds were followed by a pair of two-point wins in the semifinals and finals, as the Eagles won the MEAC Tournament. Coppin State also appeared in the NIT in 1991 and in 1995.

Coppin State Eagles All-Time Records
Points Scored
Tywain McKee, 2,158
Reggie Isaac, 1,938
Larry Stewart, 1,824

Rebounds
Larry Stewart, 1,052
Joe Pace, 978
Larry McCollum, 644

Assists
Larry Yarbray, 622
Taariq Cephas, 451
DaJuan Clayton, 419

 

FAQs
How Many NBA Players Have Coppin State Produced?

The Eagles have had two players make it to the NBA. Joe Pace, who also played college ball at Maryland Eastern Shore, was the first player, and Larry Stewart was the other. Stewart, who was undrafted, played for five seasons for Washington and Seattle.

Why Is the School Called Coppin State?

Coppin State University began in 1900 as a one-year training course for the preparation of Black elementary school teachers. In 1902, the program was extended to two years and, in 1926, became the Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of Coppin, a pioneer in early teacher education.

What Is Significant About Larry Stewart’s Rookie NBA Season?
Despite being MAEC Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991, Stewart was not one of the 54 players drafted in the 1991 NBA Draft. His rookie season with Washington in 1991-92 was his best season in the NBA, as he averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. He was the first undrafted player to make the NBA All-Rookie Team (2nd Team).

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