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Utah Blaze: Winless Blaze release D-backs coach

Published: Wednesday, April 2 2008 12:59 a.m. MDT

Hunkie Cooper

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Hunkie Cooper was a star player for Danny White during the glory years of the Arizona Wranglers. Things weren't going nearly as well with Cooper as an assistant coach under White for the Utah Blaze, however.

Two weeks after being demoted from defensive coordinator to simply the coach of the Blaze's defensive backs, Cooper was released from his coaching duties altogether by the Blaze on Tuesday.

The Blaze, 0-5 on the season, did not practice on Tuesday, but White released the following statement:

"This was a mutual agreement based on our immediate need to get more out of the players we have under the current circumstances. This decision is not necessarily a reflection of Hunkie's coaching ability. Rather, it is different approach and an effort to move in another direction based on the outcome of our inconsistent performance on the defensive side of the ball."

Ron James, who was previously a head coach in the AFL, is now the Blaze's defensive coordinator. He began the season as the Blaze's line coach.

Utah will travel to play at 5-0 Philadelphia on Saturday night.

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