Hans was born in Batschsentiwan, near Apatin on the
Danube, the "Land of the Danube Swabians", (in Hungary prior to 1914).
As a child, he became a post World War II victim of ethnic cleansing in 1945 in
After his escape in 1947, he fled via Hungary to Austria
and from there he came to the United States in 1956. After serving a tour of
duty in the United States Armed Forces (1958-1960). He studied mechanical
engineering and worked as a machine design engineer in the machine tool field
and later as an engineering consultant in the steel mill industry.
He married Annemarie Gibisch in 1961. They have two
children Birgitt and Robert and three grandchildren Kris, Katie and Klayton.
His involvement in the German-American community in
Greater Cleveland began in 1957, when he became a founding member of the "GBU
Soccer Club". In 1964 he became one of the first youth soccer coaches of
the "Sport Club Donauschwaben" (formally GBU) and later Concordia.
In January of 1965 he became one of the founders and
program director of the Lake Erie Junior Soccer League. As head coach of the
"Sport Club Donauschwaben" during the late 60's early 70s's, the youth
program of the club, with ten youth teams and more than 150 youth players,
experience the largest expansion.
His involvement in promoting youth soccer, lead to an
appointment as the first president of the "Ohio Youth Soccer
Association-North" in 1974, and a position he held for 10 years. As such he
became instrumental in the soccer development in the state.
His involvements with soccer, lead to an appointment to
the "National Soccer Coaches Committee" in 1975, and as such became a
founding member of the National "State Soccer Coaches Schools" in the
United States and the first state coach of the OYSA-N. In 1977 he became a
founding member of the "US National Olympic Soccer Development
Program" a name he created for the program.
With the latter appointment, he became one of the five
original "National Committee Members" of this important program. Thus
he became a pioneer in soccer in the United States and became instrumental in
making "Soccer" a household name in this country.
The same year he became the first director for the
"Midwest Olympic Soccer Development Program" (which includes 14 state
associations), a position he held for seven years. By holding these positions,
Hans became one of the most prominent Danube Swabian officers in the United
States, involved in the development of youth soccer.
His contributions as a youth soccer coach and
administrator of 25 years prompted the OYSA-N to name the U-16 State Youth Cup
"The Hans Kopp Cup" in his honor and being inducted into the
"Ohio Youth Soccer Hall of Fame". Because of his many contributions to
youth soccer in the pioneering years of the sport in the United States, he is
often referred to as the "Father of Ohio Youth Soccer".
He has degrees in mechanical, machine and machine tool
design engineering. He is a certified instructor in the machine, tool and die
design engineering field in the State of Ohio, a national licensed soccer coach
and a certified "Ski Instructor of America".
His involvement in teaching spans over more than half a
Century. His love for teaching benefited thousands of school children of all
ages, as well as, adults, even today.
In 1972 he became a fraternal insurance counselor with
District 70 (now 810) of the "Greater Beneficial Union of Pittsburgh"
in Cleveland. In 1984 he became the first designated FIC, F (Fraternal Insurance
Counselor, Fellow) of the Greater Beneficial Union of Pittsburgh nationwide.
He has been a delegate to the "Federation of
German-American Societies of Greater Cleveland" on and off, since 1972 and
is a member of several branches of the Society of the "Donauschwaben's
German-American Cultural Center" since 1958 and was one of the founding
members of their youth dance group that year.
Hans is a passionate gardener and has assumed the
responsibility of planting the flowers at Lenau Park since his retirement.
Hans has authored many short stories, technical papers on
skiing and soccer, news reports for the "Wächter und Anzeiger" the
"Germania" and several other publications in the German and in English
languages in Germany, Austria, the United States and Canada.
Perhaps he is best known for his Book: "The last
generation forgotten and left to die, the history of the Danube Swabians in word
and pictures", written in German and English a volume of 400 pages, framed
by more than 1,400 pictures, documents and maps, copyrighted in 1999 and
published in 2003.
With this book he leaves behind valuable information's on
the historic events which led to the expulsion of the Germans from the Southeast
and the genocide on the Germans, perpetrated during the post war years of WWII
1945-1948 by Communist Yugoslavia.