Passing of HSU Alumnus Jack Copeland


Hardin-Simmons alumnus Jack L. Copeland, who found success in a range of fields including sports, energy, finance, and politics, died on Jan. 26, 2016 at his home in Acapulco, Mexico.

Copeland earned a Bachelor of Science from Hardin-Simmons in 1957, with a major in Physical Education and a minor in Biology. He served as head trainer for the HSU football team. While at HSU, he befriended and worked with football great and NFL Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who served as a head coach at HSU in the late 1950s.

Copeland later joined the training staff at Ohio State University before moving into professional sports. He was the first trainer of the New York Titans, which later became the New York Jets. He made significant contributions in advancing the training profession.

Copeland moved into the field of finance in 1967, joining the Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley with a specialization in the energy industry. He left Morgan Stanley in 1981 to open his own firm, Copeland Consulting, where he developed a wide range of international clients and contacts worldwide. 

A major achievement was using his expertise and contacts during the Sakhalin project. A leading international collaborative energy project, Sakhalin combined the professional expertise of Exxon with the natural resources of Sakhalin Island and the financial means of Japan. The project is today a major provider of hydrocarbons to Japan.

Copeland pioneered the first pre-packaged bankruptcy in 1986. This eased the process or refinancing and recovery of a firm by providing certainty to creditors. It was an innovation that became widespread and benefited the American economy for decades to follow.

 In 1983, Copeland was asked to lecture on the Geopolitics of Oil at St. Andrews University, Scotland. He was recognized by St. Andrews where he was named an Honorary Professor.

A loyal and devoted father of two, Copeland was a 1952 graduate of Dimmitt High School. He also earned an MBA and a graduate level degree in physical therapy from Ohio State.



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