Cooper Kupp’s journey to the Super Bowl began with his key connection to Cal Poly Football Head Coach Beau Baldwin.
Baldwin recruited Kupp out of high school and coached him during his time at Eastern Washington.
Kupp began his college journey in 2013 under Baldwin’s leadership, helping guide Kupp to eventually being picked by the Los Angeles Rams with the 69th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Baldwin moved on from Eastern Washington to coach at California as an offensive coordinator from 2017 TO 2019.
Baldwin would take over the Cal Poly program in 2019 while Kupp began to make a name for himself in the NFL with Los Angeles.
Many Cal Poly students said they were surprised about the connection between Baldwin and Kupp.
“I’m from Eastern Washington, the Tri Cities, and Cooper Kupp is from Yakima,” said Cal Poly student Jacob Schuster.
“Typically, when you think of sports at Cal Poly, it’s not big time. Then you think of John Madden and now hearing about Cooper Kupp and that changes things” said Cal Poly student Jake Hall.
“It’s awesome to see the Cal Poly head coach gave Cooper Kupp his opportunity and seeing what he has done with that is unreal,” said Cal Poly student Owen Kaufman.
Head Cal Poly Football Coach Beau Baldwin gave Kupp an opportunity when he was head coach at Eastern Washington, helping lead Kupp to the NFL.
“He’s obviously a good coach if he can develop guys like that. Eastern Washington doesn’t get a ton of guys in the NFL I don’t think, but if you have a receiver like Kupp, he’s a big-time player and we need some big-time players here,” said Cal Poly student Jackson Ellermeyer.
“That’s crazy knowing that he recruited him, that’s awesome. At the game last night, it’s third down and you know the ball is going to Cooper Kupp,” said Kaufman.
“I think it’s pretty cool because obviously Cooper Kupp is one of the best receivers in the league now, so it is cool to have some connection to that,” said Schuster.
“I actually didn’t know that our coach here was from Eastern Washington. I knew Cooper Kupp was. Hopefully, we can get some more Cooper Kupps here because we could use it,” said Ellermeyer.
With the excitement of Baldwin’s presence at Cal Poly, students said they look forward to seeing how the football program changes to a winning culture over time.
“It makes me kind of want to go to the games more. Hopefully, they can build a little bit bigger of a fan base and support system,” said Cal Poly student Ellie Bonnie.
“I think it means our program is heading in the right direction. Cooper Kupp is right now probably the best receiver in football,” said Cal Poly student Everett Johnson.
“It makes me super psyched that he is putting Cal Poly on the map and kind of reaching different realms that it hasn’t been before,” said Bonnie.
“I think it will light a fire under not only the team but the students too, making a change in the way we view the sports around here,” said Hall.
“It gives up hope for the future and hopefully right now on campus is walking around the next Cooper Kupp,” said Johnson.
“He is walking around, we know that for sure,” said Cal Poly student Emma Davis.
The Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at their home stadium, SoFi Stadium.
Super Bowl LVI will kick off Sunday, February 13 on KSBY.