By Aaron Randolph
Former NFL defensive back Cooper Taylor has accomplished a lifelong goal of playing professional football and is now taking on another dream of obtaining his MBA and entering the corporate world. Taylor played two years in the NFL and is now enrolled at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Cooper has excelled at football on all levels. He had a great high school football career, which led to a successful collegiate career and an opportunity to play professionally for the New York Giants. Taylor attended Marist High School in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a two-time All-State and All-County selection and earned three varsity letters. Taylor played his college football at Georgia Tech where he received All-ACC second team honors before transferring to the University of Richmond.
Taylor missed most of the 2009 and 2010 season at Georgia Tech due to medical issues after being diagnosed with Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition that causes an unusually rapid heart beat. After taking a year off to improve his health, he transferred to the University Richmond. He ended up having a phenomenal career and was selected as a consensus All-American.
Just as excellent as Taylor was on the football field, he was just as excellent in the classroom. He was named First-Team Academic All-American, along with being named CAA Football Scholar-Athlete of the year. He also was a participant in the 2013 East-West Shrine game. As Taylor wrapped up his career as a collegiate athlete, his hard work and dedication on the field gave him a opportunity at the National Football League. Cooper was selected 152nd overall in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Giants where he spent four seasons as a safety. He played in 16 games amassing 15 tackles. His father, Jim Bob Taylor, also had a stellar career at Georgia Tech and played one season for the Baltimore Colts.
While being enrolled at the University of Richmond, he graduated with a bachelors degree in Business, which gave him great exposure into the business world. Taylor credits a former coach of his at the East-West Shrine game, Jerry Glanville, that inspired him to go back to school to get his MBA.
“Coach Glanville told me that the NFL stands for two things the National Football League and not for long, always prepare for whatever is next.”
Cooper's parents raised him to value education and the NFL provides great resources for players to continue their education while they are currently playing professional football. Going back to school was something Taylor always thought he would do no matter what since he really enjoyed his undergrad experience at Richmond.
He enrolled in Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business MBA program because they have a program through the NFL and the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) that allows players to start the program while currently on an NFL roster.
“Indiana University is a great business school and they understand the rigors of the NFL. The NFL and NFLPA helped facilitate my process of getting my master’s degree in the most efficient and economical way."
Taylor plans to pursue a career in investment banking after he receives his MBA and gain as much experience as he can in the corporate world. Additionally, he would love to help other current and former players with their process transitioning and preparing for life after football. Cooper has plenty of advice for other players that are currently playing.
” Take advantage of the resources of the NFL and take advantage of the power of yourself and your brand.”
As for his playing days, Taylor has no regrets and is looking forward to excelling in the corporate world as he did with football. Taylor is on track to obtain his master's degree in May.
About Aaron Randolph, Contributing Sports Writer
Aaron Randolph was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. He is currently a Class of 2018 Media Studies and Production major at Temple University. Aaron has always had a passion for media and sports production, as well as film production. He is currently an intern for Fox 29 News and producer for a media company called MyNewPhilly. As he progresses throughout his career, he hopes to build a community center for at risk youth and women who have been victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
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