March 27, 2023

Student Story: Kasey Cooper named SEC Women’s Legend

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Kasey Cooper 1Kasey Cooper

A highly decorated former Auburn University softball player and current fourth-year Heersink medical student has been named Auburn University’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) 2023 Women’s Legend.

Kasey Cooper made history by becoming Auburn’s first softball player to be named an SEC Women’s Legend. She is one of only 10 softball players to receive the recognition in its 21-year history.

The purpose of the SEC Women's Legend recognition is to honor former student athletes and coaches.

“I get chill bumps,” Cooper says. “It proves just how much of an impact our team made. Those are moments I will never forget and will always cherish.”

A three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, Cooper ended her Auburn softball career as the SEC's all-time leader in RBI with 270, ranking ninth in NCAA Division I history. She is one of only two players in SEC history with 250 hits and 250 RBI in a career. She holds Auburn career records in slugging percentage (.748), RBI, home runs (67), total bases (541), walks (212), games started (256) and games played (257). Cooper ranks in the top four in program history in career batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits and doubles.  

Following graduation from Auburn, Cooper represented the U.S. on the women's national softball team for three seasons: 2016-2018. The team won silver at the 2016 World Cup of Softball and gold at the 2016 Women's Softball World Championship.

It was during her junior year while majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Auburn that Cooper says a new passion for medicine ignited when she underwent surgery at UAB. After her recovery, she asked to shadow the surgeon and it became evident that a career in medicine was her dream.

Cooper started at the Heersink School of Medicine in 2019. She researched various specialties before she says she found her home in Ophthalmology. This spring she was accepted into the Ophthalmology residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.Kasey Cooper softballKasey Cooper is currently a fourth-year Heersink medical student

As she completes her last semester of medical school, Cooper reflects on her experience as a medical student, expressing her gratitude for the faculty and staff who make it a priority to support students in any way that they can.

“They will be there for you if you allow them,” Cooper says. “People care here and are proactive in their mentorship for not only us as students but as people. UAB is special, and I'm proud and honored to represent UAB Heersink School of medicine.” 

She says she plans to continue volunteering when she relocates to Wisconsin. She has previously volunteered for the USA Softball Outreach Program, which focuses on increasing youth access to sports, teaching the fundamentals of the sport, and providing enhanced training. 

She reflects on her commitment to volunteerism by saying, “As a former female athlete and future female physician, it is important to go back to your community and show that it is possible.”