Cleo Cooper Has Traded Helmet for Hard Drives

Posted by Monica Hoel
Cleo Cooper has made a big career shift – but he’s finding that his ties to Arena Football are helpful in the business sector.

Cleo Cooper “never ever” thought he’d be working in technology. “When I had any kind of trouble with my computer, I went straight to the E&H Computer Help desk! And now I work in technology!”

Cleo is a customer success manager for Cisco, and loves the work. He laughs about how his former career helps him to be successful now even though the fields are worlds apart.

After finishing his degree at Emory & Henry, Cleo played professional Arena Football. A wide receiver, he started out with the Canadian Football League, but ended up playing for the American league team – specifically the Marion Blue Racers in Ohio. After two seasons, the Ohio team folded, and he then played for the Washington D.C. Valor.

However, he had a career-ending ankle break that took him out of the world of football, and he had friends in the I.T. industry who encouraged him to look at sales. They told him “people buy from who they like” – and his friends thought he would be a hit. They were right.

These days he spends a lot of time on Zoom calls with customers who notice a lot of interesting sports memorabilia on the shelves behind him. “Clients see all my Emory & Henry football paraphernal and they want to talk about sports. We’re supposed to be talking about I.T., but we’ll spend the first 20 minutes talking about football!”

Cleo also spends a lot of time doing work for his community. Basketball legend John Wall is a personal friend of Cleo’s, so when Cleo landed in Raleigh John recruited him to help with the service work done by the John Wall Family Foundation. Cleo loves the opportunity to serve the kids in his region, and is already looking forward to their next backpack hand out event.

You can enjoy a great conversation with Cleo Cooper on the Duck Pond Wall podcast.

  • Cleo Cooper
    E&H Class of 2014

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2378-will-mullins-rewrites-his-definition-of-the-good"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/62,0,541,477/11501_FB_IMG_1651246574440.rev.1655317901.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/62,0,541,477/11501_FB_IMG_1651246574440.rev.1655317901.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/62,0,541,477/11501_FB_IMG_1651246574440.rev.1655317901.jpg" alt="William Mullins Emory & Henry Class of 1992" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="479" data-max-h="477" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2378-will-mullins-rewrites-his-definition-of-the-good">Will Mullins Rewrites His Definition of the “Good Life”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> As a script-writer, Will Mullins knows a thing or two about rewriting for meaningful effect. <a href="/live/news/2378-will-mullins-rewrites-his-definition-of-the-good" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>