Astros Remove Interim Tag For Manager Cooper Before Final Series

Friday, September 28th 2007, 4:01 pm
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ Cecil Cooper will return as manager of the Houston Astros after receiving a two-year contract Friday that runs through the 2009 season.

The 57-year-old was named interim manager when he replaced the fired Phil Garner on Aug. 27.

The announcement was made before the Astros opened their final series of the season, against Atlanta.

``It's a great thrill for me,'' Cooper said. ``I'm very confident I can do this. I know I can do it. We're going to get it done.''

Cooper had worked as Houston's bench coach since 2005. His promotion comes a week after the Astros named Ed Wade their new general manager to replace Tim Purpura.

``I'm became very comfortable, very quickly being around Coop,'' Wade said. ``I look forward to a long association.''

Houston has gone 13-15 since Cooper took over.

Cooper, a first-time major league manager, is the first black manager in Astros history.