Mark Cooper (Coop)
University of Miami, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mark grew up in the Miami area and played tight end for the Miami Killian Senior High. He was a blue-chip All-American, All-City player, three letter football, basketball and track sportsman and is a current member of the Miami Killian Hall of Fame.
Mark was recruited to the University of Miami under Lou Saban (who later left) and was replaced by Howard Schnellenberger, who Mark says he owes his career to. Mark went to Miami as a tight end and moved to tackle his junior year. He then excelled to achieve two Player of the Game Awards against Notre Dame and North Carolina, and then was voted the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, 1982, presented by the Miami Touchdown Club. Later he was voted into a Miami All-Time Team by the Miami Herald.
Mark played in the East-West Shrine Game and the North-South Senior Bowl. He was then drafted by the Denver Broncos as a 2nd round draft pick in 1983, playing seven years in the NFL. Mark played with the Denver Broncos from 1983 to 1986 and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987 to 1989.
While with the Broncos, he was a member of the 1986 AFC Championship Team that played the Cleveland Browns in the famous AFC Championship game labeled “The Drive” and in Super Bowl XXI of the same season in Pasadena against the New York Giants. Throughout his career he protected quarterbacks like Jim Kelly in college, then John Elway, Vinny Testaverde and Steve Deberg and Joe Ferguson.