NORMAN -- Former University of Oklahoma student-athlete Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH will be a 2015 inductee into the National Football Foundation Leadership Hall of Fame. The “father of aerobics,” Dr. Cooper is being honored Thursday evening at the Omni Dallas Hotel as the kickoff event for the College Football Playoff National Championship weekend.
As a Sooner student-athlete, Dr. Cooper lettered in track and field in 1951. He went on to leave his mark as an internationally-renowned pioneer of preventative medicine.
From coining the word "aerobics" in The Oxford English Dictionary, to introducing "coopering" as the term for jogging in Brazil, to the removal of trans-fats from Frito-Lay products, Dr. Cooper's message of exercising for good health has reached those home and abroad.
Dr. Cooper, who briefly played football in high school, has made his biggest impact on the football community with his ground-breaking research and preventive medicine teachings. Through his work with Cooper Aerobics and The Cooper Institute, Dr. Cooper has worked closely with many football legends, helping them make a lasting impact for optimum health and fitness at every stage of life.
The NFF announced the creation of the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame in 2013, and the platform provides the organization with a powerful vehicle for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. Inductees into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame must exhibit a passion for the NFF’s mission of building leaders through football, and their accomplishments must embody the same qualities in amateur football that define excellence in American life: hard work, discipline, determination, teamwork, integrity and the relentless pursuit to improve.