John Cooper (born July 2, 1937) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Tulsa (1977–1984), Arizona State University (1985–1987), and Ohio State University (1988–2000), compiling a career record of 192–84–6. Cooper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2008.
Cooper grew up in the Knoxville suburb of Powell, Tennessee and joined the United States Army after high school. After serving for two years, he enrolled at Iowa State University where he played football for four years eventually becoming team captain and MVP.
Cooper spent time as an assistant coach at Iowa State, Oregon State, UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky. In 1977, he was named the head football coach at the University of Tulsa. At Tulsa, he compiled a 57–31 record with five Missouri Valley Conference titles. He became the head coach at Arizona State in 1985 where his teams played in three consecutive bowl games, including the 1987 Rose Bowl, during his three-year tenure. Notably, he was just 0–2–1 against arch-rival Arizona. He accepted the job as head coach at Ohio State on December 31, 1987. It is rumored that he became the front-runner for the head coaching position at Ohio State because of his 1987 Rose Bowl victory over Michigan.