Hernandez James "Hunkie" Cooper grew up in Texas and attended Westwood High School in Palestine.
From there, Cooper went on to play quarterback at Navarro College where he led the Bulldogs to the NJCAA national championship in 1989. He then transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. With the Rebels, #14 twice earned All-American honors and all-Big West Conference accolades as a punt returner and kick returner. He was a player of many skills, having played six positions during his career at UNLV.
But Cooper's football career was just beginning.
In 1993, Cooper began his tenure with the Arizona Rattlers. During the span of 1993-2005, he excelled on every level. In his first season, he earned League MVP.
He was also a two-time ArenaBowl Champion, in 1994 and 1997. He excelled on both sides of the ball as wide receiver and linebacker, and also returned kicks. Cooper won the Ironman of the Year Award in 1999 and 2000.
At the end of his distinguished career, Cooper was the all-time leader in receiving yards (8,559), receptions (776), all-purpose yardage (20,587) and kickoff returns (500). In 2011, he was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, Cooper joined the coaching ranks. He served six seasons at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas. During Cooper's tenure, the team made the Sunrise Region Playoffs all six years. He also coached a pretty good player there - Donnel Pumphrey.
From Las Vegas, Cooper headed west to join Coach Rocky Long's staff at San Diego State through 2022. In 2023, he was name the wide receivers coach at UNLV.
Cooper has six children. Two with his wife of 24 years, Tiffany.
Born: May 17, 1969
Claim to Fame: Cooper is the Arena Football League's all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions, all-purpose yardage and kickoff returns.