Coprich Presented with Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Trophy
BERKELEY – Cal sophomore running back Jeffrey Coprich was presented with his Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® trophy in a surprise ceremony in front of his Cal football teammates following the Golden Bears’ practice Tuesday at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.
Cal’s Director of Player Development Kevin Parker opened the ceremony by talking to Coprich’s teammates about the Watts native and his dedication to the community. Parker then introduced a video played on the stadium’s scoreboard featuring Coprich’s community service before Bay Area Allstate insurance agent Harold Lorber presented Coprich with his trophy.
“I want to change kids’ futures on a better path because mine did,” Coprich said.
Coprich, who is one of the Cal football program’s most active community service participants, visited 116th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles last Friday in his most recent outing. He spoke to a gathering of fourth and fifth graders in the school’s auditorium before later reading to a group of younger students in the Essence K. Coprich Library named in honor of his late sister, who was killed at the age of seven in a 1996 car accident that Jeffrey survived.
“He’s certainly one of the student-athletes we’re really proud of,” Cal Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. “It’s an amazing story. It’s a tragic story. But what he’s done with it is really inspirational.”
“Jeffrey has shown leadership throughout the community since he first stepped foot on this campus,” said fellow running back Daniel Lasco. “It’s a great accomplishment that all his dedication is being exemplified in such an honoring way. I’m so proud of my boy and everything he stands for.”
Coprich received the prestigious Watkins Scholar Athlete of the Year Award given annually by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Alliance of African American Athletes in 2012. He has also started the Unsung Heroes Awards along with his father Jeffrey Coprich Sr., founder of the L.A. Inner City Mass Choir. The program serves high school football student-athletes in the South Los Angeles area, recognizing their academic and athletic accomplishments as well as their volunteerism. In addition, he founded the Jeffrey Coprich Book Club in an effort to continually provide students with reading materials and in hopes of helping to improve reading skills of students at the school.
“Often times children are not validated enough and feel isolated because no one may listen to them or hear about their dreams or aspirations,” Coprich said. “When I talk to kids I want them to know that they matter, that each one has a unique and special gift inside of them that can be used for the betterment of humanity. When children receive positive attention from adults they feel valued, visible and like they are worth something to someone. This increases their self-esteem in a way that no amount of money can purchase. When a child’s self-esteem increases they feel better about themselves and learn the value of their existence in the world.”
“All of us as players and coaches in any college football program are lucky to be in these positions and part of our responsibility is to help people who need it and are a little less fortunate than we are,” Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. “I am proud of Jeffrey for recognizing that and taking it seriously. We have a lot of players that do a lot of things off the field and Jeff has a unique experience because of his situation. He saw a need and has done a really great job of dedicating a lot of time and effort. He is very passionate about helping young people and trying to make a difference in their lives.”
Coprich, who was one of 22 players named to the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® in September, will attend the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl as part of the team and participate in a community service project prior to the game.