By Garth Shanklin – News Democrat
MOUNT ORAB — Western Brown athletic director Tim Cook has been elected to the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. Cook began his career at Western Brown in 1984 at Hamersville.
Cook moved to Western Brown High School with the beginning of the 1985-1986 school year and has served as the athletic director for the past 20 years. In addition to his role as athletic director, Cook has also served as a head coach of several of Western Brown’s teams.
“I coached softball for 10 years,” Cook said. “We won five league titles and were runner-up twice. I helped as an assistant coach at Fairfield with my dad before I took over, so we started playing each other until he quit in 1993. That created some great memories.”
There have been bunches of similar memories made at Western Brown. Cook coached boys basketball from 1992 to 1997, reaching the district finals in Division II in 1996. The team lost to Bellefontaine 43-34, but Cook called the experience “a lot of fun.”
The memories didn’t stop after Cook left the coaching ranks.
“To this day, when we win a big game or win a league title, it is a tremendous feeling to walk out of the gym or stadium with that awesome feeling of accomplishment,” Cook said. “When I walk down the Hall of Champions hallway everyday, I still get pumped up seeing all of the pictures, jerseys and awards that signify all of the teams and athletes that have excelled in athletics at Western Brown. It keeps me motivated to keep working hard and keep improving.”
Cook didn’t have to wait for the release to learn he had been elected, instead he learned the news from close friend and New Richmond Athletic Director Doug Foote, who serves as the SWOADA secretary.
“[He] called me the day before the release and let me know,” Cook said. “He wanted to tel me personally before the news release came out.”
Cook will be honored with the other 2016 inductee, Covington High School’s Bob Huelsman, at the OIAAA State Conference, held this upcoming November in Columbus. He made a note to thank other community members for their contribution to the school and the athletic department itself throughout the years.
“I am very proud of the beautiful facilities we have at Western Brown that have came thru the efforts of many local businesses and philanthropists who have donated funds to the athletic department over the years and continue to do so today,” Cook said. “We have a very dedicated coaching staff who work very hard year round to make their program the best, [and] I appreciate everything they do at Western Brown. We also have a great support staff and administration and I’ve had a very supportive board of education, all of whom care deeply about Western Brown and definitely make my job much easier.”
Cook joins his father, Jim Cook, in the hall. Jim Cook served 31 years as the athletic director at Leesburg Fairfield and was elected into the hall in 1988. Cook said he believed the pair to be the first father and son to be elected into the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame. He is not the only Bronco in the hall, however. Former Western Brown AD Frank Bates was elected in 1991 after serving 19 years as the athletic director at the school.