Football coach Loran Cooley leaves Baldwin after 3 years for college job

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Monday, February 10, 2020 | 6:32 PM


Loran Cooley wants to become a full-time football coach once he retires as a Pennsylvania state trooper, a transition that’s not too far in the future.

So, when a college coach offered him a job, he couldn’t say no.

Cooley, 41, resigned as Baldwin’s football coach after three seasons to join Westminster College as an assistant under Scott Benzel. There, he’ll coach the wide receivers for the NCAA Division III program.

He met Monday with his football players at Baldwin.

“It was a tough, tough, tough, tough decision to leave those kids,” said Cooley, who could retire as a trooper in two or seven years, with 20 or 25 years of state service. “I truly love those kids and I’ll keep in touch with them, but this was a decision I had to make for my family. I’m excited about it.”

Baldwin went 10-20 in three seasons under Cooley.

The program improved each year and made the playoffs last fall for the first time since 2013. The Highlanders finished 5-6 and lost to McKeesport, 21-20, in the WPIAL Class 5A first round.

Baldwin went 1-14 combined in the two years before Cooley was hired and 0-8 in his first season.

“Every year we had improvement,” Cooley said. “Baldwin wasn’t a powerhouse when we took over, but as we worked through the years, we’ve shown progression. We showed that we could compete with anybody.”

Baldwin gave him his first head coaching job. He’d previously worked as an assistant at Clairton, Gateway and Plum.

The East Allegheny graduate played college football at Duquesne.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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