Cook inducted into OIAAA Hall of Fame

image_391Western Brown AD recognized at Nov. 14 conference –

By Wade Linville –

A great deal of work comes with being a full-time athletic director, hard work that oftentimes goes without recognition. But for Western Brown Local Schools Athletic Director Tim Cook, years of hard work and dedication has not gone unrecognized. On Nov. 14 during the Ohio Athletic Director Conference in Columbus, Cook received his award as a new inductee to the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame after being nominated for the Hall of Fame by athletic directors in the district in which he works.
“First of all, I am very honored and humbled to be receiving the OIAAA Athletic Directors Hall of Fame Award.” Cook said when receiving his award on Nov. 14.  “For 20 years I have sat in the audience watching past AD’s stand up here and receive the award, never thinking that I would someday be one of those AD’s.  So again, very grateful and congratulations to all of the other award winners today.
I would like to thank my fellow AD’s from the Southwest District who nominated me for this award.  Although the Southwest District covers a lot of area with close to 200 schools, the SWOADA organization is very close and works well together always helping each other and lending advice when needed.  I am extremely honored to be recognized by this group of great leaders and very proud to have served this organization as an officer from 2001-2009.
I would like to thank the OIAAA for everything they do!  I served on the OIAAA Board of Directors from 2009-2014 and watched it grow into one of the strongest associations in the nation during that time.  I am very proud of what we accomplished, moving the conference to the Easton Hilton, moving this awards presentation to Monday from Sunday night (which quadrupled the attendance), seeing our membership grow and creating the Executive Directors position and hiring Bruce Brown to run it.  Where we were five years ago until now is amazing and we owe a lot of that to Bruce. I would like to thank Western Brown Local Schools, where I have spent my entire 33 year career (20 as the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director).  It is a great place to work with wonderful people.  I have been very fortunate to work with bosses who let me do my job. I have been very fortunate to meet many AD’s across the State of Ohio while serving on the SWOADA, OIAAA, SWDAB and the OHSAA Board of Directors and I can say that I have made some close friends along the way. Last but not least, I would like to introduce some very special people who have made the long trip to Columbus to be here today: my mother and father, Jim and Mary Jo Cook who celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary this fall.  My mother was the secretary to the superintendent at Leesburg Fairfield for 30 years and my dad was a teacher, coach, principal and served as AD for 31 years.  Dad was nominated to the SEOADA Hall of Fame in 1988.  I believe that we have the distinction of being the ONLY father/son combination to be inducted into the OIAAA HOF!!  He also drove the bus full time for 51 years (actually 54) with only 2 drivers that have more time in than him in Ohio.”
Cook graduated from (Leesburg) Fairfield High School in 1980 and Wilmington College in 1984 before beginning his teaching and coaching career at Western Brown High School in the fall of 1984. He received his Masters Degree from the University of Dayton in 1987.  He has been the Assistant Principal and Athletic Administrator at Western Brown since 1997.
Cook coached Boys basketball for 13 years (six as varsity coach) and led the 1996 team to the district finals, which is the farthest in Western Brown’s school history.  He was the varsity fast pitch softball coach for 10 years, winning five conference titles and accumulating 159 wins.
During his tenure as athletic administrator, he has helped complete several projects within the athletic facilities.  He has created an Athletic Hall of Fame, an All-Ohio recognition program, pictures of all league championship teams and the Gold Club for Varsity milestones.  He also created a recognition program for individual state qualifiers that recognizes each individual with a State of Ohio plaque that hangs in the gymnasium.  Every athlete who wins a district title in an individual sport has a plaque with their picture on it that goes in the trophy case.  A team that wins a district championship is awarded a 3’ X 4’ picture and a banner on the wall.
Cook has also been involved in the process of building a new high school, adding lights, bleachers and watering systems to the baseball and softball fields, new dugouts at the baseball field, a brand new softball complex, a new five-court tennis facility and a second press box at the football stadium.
In 2003, a new entrance way with restrooms and a concession stand were built with local funds.  Tim was also involved in negotiating a new beverage contract with Coke for the school district that included $200,000.00 that was used to purchase new scoreboards throughout the district (including a state of the art football message board and an overhead scoreboard in the gym).  Recently, new scoreboards were added at the baseball and softball fields with funding from local businesses.  Cook worked with the superintendent in securing funds to purchase all new Hammer Strength equipment for the weight room.
Cook has developed an advertising program that raises thousands of dollars each year for the high school athletic program.  He found donors to purchase all new banners, cushioned chairs and score tables for the new gymnasium and worked with a local philanthropist who donated approximately $120,000.00 towards the new softball field and tennis courts.
In 2009, through the generous donation from the LaRosa family and revenue from a new Coke contract, new turf was installed at the football stadium at no cost to the taxpayers. At the same time, a new scoreboard at the other end of the field was installed and paid for by a local community member who has been very gracious to the school. In all, there has been over $1,000,000.00 contributed to the athletic department through donations and advertising.
During the summer of 2012, a graduate of Mt. Orab High School donated $10,000.00 to build a new baseball press box.  Another donor has recently donated $14,600 to build a press box at the softball field that will be open in the spring of 2017 and donated $10,000 to build a shelter house at the softball and tennis complex that was completed in 2015.
During Cook’s tenure the athletic program has won 92 conference titles and won the Southern Buckeye Conference All-Sports Award 11 times. He has been very active with the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association serving an eight year term (2001-2009) and during his tenure as President, the Southwest District was in charge of hosting the 2006 OIAAA Fall Conference in Columbus.  He served on the OIAAA Board of Directors from 2009-2014 and was part of the selection process in hiring Bruce Brown, the OIAAA Executive Director.  He has been a Southwest District Tournament Manager for Wrestling and Boys and Girls Basketball for the past 13 years.  He is currently a member of the SWOADA, OIAAA, NIAAA and the OASSA and continues to be very active in these organizations.  Cook served on the OASSA Athletic Committee in 2011.  He was selected as the Southwest District Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2007 and received the 2014 OIAAA Citation Award, the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 2015 and the NFHS Citation Award in 2016.  Tim is also currently serving on the Southwest District Athletic Board thru 2017 and was elected as president during the 2013-14 school year. He also served on the OHSAA Board of Directors in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and served as vice president that same year.
Tim Cook has been married to wife Lilly for 15 years. Lilly is the Assistant Principal at Mt. Orab Middle School. They have six children and five grandchildren and two more coming soon. His father, Jim, is a 1988 OIAAA Hall of Fame Inductee, a 1991 Ohio High School Softball Coaches Hall of Fame inductee and a 2015 OHSAA Naismith Meritorious Service Award nominee and his wife’s father, the late Heckie Thompson is in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.  Tim Cook is currently in his 33rd year at Western Brown Local Schools.