Former U.S. Military Academy coach and University of Alabama hurdler Brandit Copper was appointed an assistant track and field coach at Cal State Fullerton in October of 2007 and was promoted to associate head coach on July 1, 2011.
She came to Fullerton from West Point, where she worked with the men's intermediate hurdles and the women's sprinters, as well as all of the relay teams for two seasons. She previously spent a nine-month stint as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Florida under the tutelage of legendary Head Coach Mike Holloway. She had the great responsibility of working with Holloway’s Olympic Development group; colligate sprinters and hurdlers who finished second at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Copper, a 2000 graduate from the University of Alabama, earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies with a minor in telecommunication and films. While a member of the Crimson Tide track and field team, she made the dean's list with a 3.89 GPA in 2000, she was a Scholar Athlete honor roll member from the Southeastern Conference in 1999-2000. Copper was also named MVP for the 1999 and 2000 track season. In her senior year she placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in the SEC, 5th in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships and qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter hurdles. In 1999, Copper placed third in the 100-meter hurdles and took sixth in the 60-meter hurdles at the 1999 NCAA Indoor Championships. She became a professional athlete, qualifying for the World Games and in 2001 was ranked fifth in the world in the 55-meter hurdles. In 2011 she received a master's degree in Coaching and Athletics Administration in February from Concordia University in Irvine.
Copper attended Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, for two years, picking up an A.A. degree in applied science in June, 1998. She earned NJCAA All-America honors in the 100-meter hurdles, 60-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and 4x400 meter relay in the 1998 indoor season. She added NJCAA All-America certificates in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump during the 1998 outdoor season for a total of 13 All-American awards.
In Copper's final season at West Point, she mentored her sprinters to a huge winning streak. Her athletes captured wins in five different sprint events, one jump event, and two relays. In all, Copper coached nine conference champions, two conference relay champions, 13 ECAC qualifiers, three ECAC relay qualifiers, eight NCAA regional qualifiers, two NCAA relay qualifiers and four school records.
Copper is now entering her seventh season overall at Cal State Fullerton and the third year as the associate head coach.
The 2013 season was definitely one to remember for Copper’s crew, beginning with a solid indoor season. Deena Pierce (8.12 in 55-meter hurdles), Katie Wilson (1:25.06 in 600-meter dash), and Ashley Sims (7.11 in 55-meter dash) each broke a school record in their respective events, all at the Run for the Dream Invitational in Fresno, Calif.
Jasmyne Davis also put up some nice triple jump performances, as she never finished any lower than fourth place in all three of her meets.
But as great as the indoor season was, the outdoor campaign is where Copper’s group really shined.
There's no question, this was a special crop for Fullerton, as the Titans sent a school-record seven athletes (four sprinters, two hurdlers and one jumper) to the 2013 NCAA Regional Championships in Sims, Wilson, Pierce, Morgan Thompson, Javon May, Bryan Luther, and Walter Whitaker, with all peaking at the right time, as each one set a personal best in at least one event at the 2013 Big West Championships.
Sims set personal bests in both the women's 100 (11.73) and 200-meter dash (23.78), while placing fifth and third at the Big West Championships. Her 100-meter time ended up being the 75th fastest in the NCAA West Region, while her 200-meter mark ranked 53rd. In addition, she placed second in the 100-meter dash at the Pasadena Games back in March and first in the 100-meter dash at the Big West Challenge in April.
She also produced two other top-three finishes in the 200-meter, placing second at the Big West Challenge and third at the Pasadena Games.
Wilson was one of the conference's best 400-meter runners all season long, as she placed second and ran a personal-best time of 53.39 at the Big West Championships, while finishing the season with the second best time in the Big West and the 30th fastest in the NCAA West Region. Wilson also managed to record a first place finish at the Big West Challenge and place third at the Pasadena Games earlier in the season.
The junior also collected Big West Female Track Athlete of the Week back in May, thanks to her performance in the 400-meter dash at the OXY Invitational. She posted what was at the time, a season-best mark of 54.59 and placed sixth in the event.
Thompson also excelled in the women's 400-meter, but it wasn't until the end of the season, when she showed what she really had in the tank, as she produced a personal best time of 53.90 in the 400-meter prelims at the Big West Championships. The time ended up ranking as the fourth fastest in the Big West and 48th best in the NCAA West Region. It was also 2.53-second reduction from her previous season-best time of 56.43.
As just a sophomore, Pierce took Titan hurdling to new heights this season, setting a new school-record in the women's 400-meter hurdles, as she ran a personal best time of 59.67 in the 400-meter final at the Big West Championships. The time was good for the fourth best in the conference and 43rd fastest in the NCAA West Region.
However, her success didn't stop there, as she also ran a personal best time of 13.87 in the 100-meter hurdles during the conference championships. The time ranked fourth in the league and 75th in the west.
On the men's side, things were equally as impressive with May and Luther leading the charge. Both were dominant all year long, as Luther ended the season with a couple of second place finishes in both the 100 (10.80) and 200-meter dash (21.34) at the Big West Championships. He also recorded a personal best 100-meter time of 10.61 in the Big West Championship prelims, which ended up being the fifth fastest in the conference and 87th best in the west, while his 200-meter finals time ranked third in the league and 85th in the NCAA West Region.
Luther took home first place in both the 100 and 200-meter dash at the Big West Challenge, while also finishing first in the 200-meter dash at the Pasadena Games.
May was just as magnificent in the 400-meter hurdles, garnering four top-four finishes this season, including placing third at the Big West Championships, after running a personal best time of 52.16. The mark ends up being the third fastest in the conference and ranks 37th in the west.
The senior also earned Big West Male Track Athlete of the Week honors back in march, thanks to his 400-meter performance at the Florida Relays.
The men's 4x400 (3:12.12) and 4x100-meter (41.08) relay teams also had successful seasons, finishing second and fourth in the conference respectively.
Jasiri Blake (100m), Alexis Stewart (100m), and Tony Crutchfield (110m hurdles) all finished their seasons out strong, as all recorded PRs at the Big West Championships.
As for the jumpers, Walter Whitaker completed a fantastic sophomore campaign with a trip to the NCAA West Regionals, where he competed in the triple jump. He qualified, thanks to a career-best leap of 49-11.75 at the Big West Championships. The jump was the fourth-best in the conference and the 40th best in the NCAA West Region.
Whitaker also excelled in the long jump, as he recorded a personal best jump of 23-02.50 at the Big West Championships, which also ranks as the 11th best in the league.
Malek Walls also had a solid season, as the sophomore recorded his best long jump of the year at the OXY Invitational. His leap of 23-00.75 ended up as the 13th best mark in the Big West.
For the women, there's no need to look any further than Jasmyne Davis, who recorded a personal-best leap of 38-0.75 in the triple jump and placed eighth at the Beach Invite. The performance was the ninth best in the conference. In addition, she also recorded a first place finish at Pomona Preview.
In 2012, the team started the indoor season off on the right foot. After only competing in the 60-meter dash one time, sophomore Ashley Sims broke the record previously held by Ciara Short and Antonia Vega, with a time of 7.65. At the Big West Conference Championships, the team of Krizia Apelar, Ashley Sims, Katie Wilson and freshman Morgan Thompson won the conference title in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 45.61, continuing a winning streak from 2011. Sims for the first time scored in the 100-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 11.84. Copper and her team had the most success in the 200-meter dash, scoring 17 points with Thompson placing second, Sims placing fourth and Wilson finishing fifth. In the 400 meters, Wilson also finished second and Thompson finished third, adding 14 points for the Lady Titans. Sophomore Jasmyne Davis, recruited hurdler, was transformed into a jumper in the middle of the season due to injury. Davis placed fifth in the triple jump. With the top performance from Thompson earned her the Freshman of the Year award from the Big West conference being the first in school history to achieve this honor. On the men’s side, red shirt junior Bryan Luther and senior Aaron Ray scored seventh and eighth in the men's 200 meters, while freshman Walter Whitaker finished fourth in the men's triple jump and was the highest placing individual in the men's program. The men's 4x100 meter relay team, which consisted of Deandrae Woods, Luther, Ray and Javon May, finished fourth with time of 41.32. The team set a personal best this season with a time of 41.16, the fastest time under Copper in her five-year tenure.
She has re-written the Titan record books and made history, as she led the school's first female sprinter Ciara Short to ever qualify for the NCAA championships. Short, after just missing qualifying for the NCAA regional championships in 2009, advanced all the way to the NCAA semi-finals in 2010 in the 400 and set school records in the 100, 200 and 400. In February of 2011, Short qualified for the U.S.A. Nationals and in March she became the first Titan to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, running the 400 meters. Short also became the highest CSUF athlete to earn All-American outdoor placing fifth in the 400-meter dash. Lauren Williams, who is also a four-time champion in the 100-meter hurdles in the Big West Conference, placed second at the 2009 NCAA West Regional Championships with a then personal best of 13.22. Williams and Short were also a part of the winning 4x100 meter relay squad in 2011 at Big West Championships, teaming up with Katie Wilson and Ashley Sims.
In Copper's first season as a Titan she had success in guiding the sprinters and hurdlers to one of their best seasons. In the hurdles, Roberto Archibald defended his title in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best of 51.66, while freshman Lauren Williams took the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 13.77. On the sprint side of things, Copper qualified two freshmen -- Mike Stoke (10.60) and Jestin Blackmon (10.74) -- to the 100-meter finals and sophomore Lawrence Trice (21.34) in the 200-meter dash. Junior Garette Myers placed third in the 400-meter with a personal best of 47.12. Senior Ralynn Devine shattered a 20-year-old school record in the 200 meters after not competing for two years due to a knee plica injury with a time of 24.08, placing her third at the Big West Championships, as she also finished fourth in the 100-meter with a time of 11.89. Freshman Ciara Short was runner up in the 400 meters with a personal best of 54.34. Copper ended the season with two Big West Champions, four All- Big West performers, one All-Big West relay, three NCAA Regional Qualifiers and three school records.
Copper's parents are Susie Felton-Shaw and Larry Copper. The Philadelphia native has five sisters and one brother and was the first in the family to attend college and graduate. She graduated with honors as a scholar athlete in the top three of her class from William Penn Demonstration High School. She now resides in Fullerton with her son, Brandon Channing Campbell.
Copper has been an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc since 2000.
Accomplishments as a Coach (at CSUF)
*20 Big West Champions
*30 All-Big West Performers
*7 All-Big West Relays
*20 Regional Qualifiers
*11 NCAA Qualifiers
*29 School Records
*2 USA outdoor semi-finalist
*3 Junior outdoor qualifier
*2 Big West Athletes of the Year
*1 All-American scholar-athlete honoree
*1 CSF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
*3 All-Academic Women’s Track &Field Team
*1Freshman of the Year
Accomplishments as a Coach (at Army)
*9 Conference Champions
*2 Conference Relay Champions
*13 ECAC Qualifiers
*3 ECAC Relay Qualifiers
*8 NCAA Regional Qualifier
*2 NCAA Relay Regional Qualifier
* 4 School Records
Accomplishments & Awards as a Student-Athlete
* 13 x All NJCAA from 1997-1998 (Barton County Community College)
* 2x All American from 1999-2000 (University of Alabama)
* Scholar Athlete honor Roll from the Southeastern Conference 1999-2000
* Dean's List 2000 (University of Alabama)
* MVP 1999-2000 (University of Alabama)
* Ranked 5th in the World in 55 MH in 2001
* Qualifier Olympic Trail in 2000
* Placed 5th NCAA 100mh 2000
* Placed 4th SEC 100 mh 2000
* Placed 3rd SEC 100 mh 1999
Track and Field Academy- Certified in Program Management in 2012
USATF Level I Coaching Certification
USATF Level II Coaching Certification - Sprints/hurdles/relays
USATF Level II Coaching Certification - Jumps
USATF Level III/ IAAF Academy Certification - Sprints/ Hurdles
XXI NACACTFCA International Athletics Congress Certification - October 2011