March 12, 2012

Wellesley's First National Champion Returns to Campus

Read a Boston Globe article from 1991 about Cooper's win

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College's first NCAA National Champion, Karyn Cooper '92, recently returned to campus to visit with members of the Athletics department and the 2011-12 tennis team.

Currently living in her native Peru, Cooper was visiting the United States to tour colleges with her son and was invited to campus by head coach Brian Kuscher. Cooper accepted the offer and spent much of the morning touring the facilities, hitting with Kuscher, and seeing the "National Champion" banner that was added to the fieldhouse as part of this fall's renovation plan. 

Former Wellesley College tennis coach, Joanne Paul, who guided Cooper to the title, also returned to campus to have lunch with Cooper and the current team. Paul coached at Wellesley from 1980 to 1994 and retired as the winningest coach in the program's history with an overall record of 143-20. 

Cooper had advanced to the semifinals and finals of the NCAA tournament before her historic win in May of 1991. Rebounding from a first-set loss, she pulled out the 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Menlo College's Caroline Bodart to earn her spot in Wellesley Athletics history.

Cooper was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American and finished her career in blue with a 102-7 record. She graduated with a 3.6 grade-point average and was also named an Academic All-America.

Twenty years after Cooper won the 1991 NCAA Tennis Singles title, Wellesley's Randelle Boots won the 2011 NCAA Championship in the mile run, marking the only two national champions in Blue history. 

 

Cooper poses with her new banner in the fieldhouse 


Cooper meets the current Wellesley tennis team; Kuscher and Paul kneel in front


Cooper with Kuscher, Paul and AD Bridget Belgiovine