Tory Cooper in action for the SWARCO Raiders, 2 times Eurobowl Champions
Tory Cooper continues his European football odyssey after an outstanding college career at The Citadel.
The former South Florence standout, who played last season in France, signed a contract this week to play in Austria with the Swarco Raiders, the two-time defending Euro Bowl champions.
“I’m really excited,” Cooper said this week. “I had a great time playing in France and it should be a great experience in Austria.''
Cooper, who has been working in Charleston, hoped to go back to Europe since he returned in July after his stint with the Thonon les Baines.
Cooper came in contact with Yoan Schnee, who works for Pro Football International and helps place American players with European teams. Austria was one of three possible destinations for Cooper, who also considered playing in Germany or Denmark.
“By far it’s the best fit for me. They are pretty serious about football,” said Cooper, who will be one of four Americans on the squad. “They are the top team in Europe and they draw pretty good crowds like I played in front of at The Citadel.”
Getting a chance to play with Swarco is a step up for Cooper financially and in prestige.
Swarco is one of the premiere teams in Europe. In addition to the back-to-back Euro Bowl championships, the team has a partnership with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, who help the organization with things such as welcoming Swarco front office as summer interns.
Oakland also had various coaches from European teams, including Swarco, attend training camp this August.
In 2007 at the Citadel Tory Cooper rushed for 1024 yards and scored 21 touchdowns
With Swarco, Cooper also won’t have to play both ways as he did with Thonon les Bains. Cooper played running back and defensive back plus special teams, but said he will likely just play offense and special teams in Austria.
As a running back, Cooper ushed for 759 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 15 passes. He also played defensive back and made 31 tackles and had two interceptions for the Black Panthers, who advanced to the EFAF Cup championship before losing to Prague.
Cooper will begin training and continue to work until he departs for Austria at the end of February. Swarco’s season will begin in March and might run until July if Swarco advances to the Euro Bowl championship.
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