Gallaudet coach steps down

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Kevin Cook
Kevin Cook won 47 games in four seasons at Gallaudet, more than half of them this past season.
Gallaudet athletics photo 

Kevin Cook resigned from his post as Gallaudet's women’s basketball coach for personal reasons as announced by athletic director Michael Weinstock. A search for Cook’s replacement will begin immediately.

“I want to thank Coach Cook for putting Gallaudet University women’s basketball on the national map and raising the bar of our program. He was dedicated to the program while here and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Weinstock. “I am confident we will do an aggressive and thorough search to find the best replacement possible.”

Cook was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about two and a half years ago. It was not clear if Cook's resignation was related.

Cook compiled a 47-56 record (.456 winning percentage) at Gallaudet in four seasons where half of the 47 wins came last season as the Bison posted a 24-4 record. The team began the year 20-0, the best start in program history that dates to 1896, and finished the season in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. The 24 wins tied the program record set by the 1998-99 team.

Gallaudet finished its first season in the North Eastern Athletic Conference as co-champions with Keuka as both squads finished with 20-2 conference records. Gallaudet hosted the 2011 NEAC tournament and advanced to the championship game where it fell to Keuka 50-46. The Bison earned one of the 20 at-large berths into the NCAA tournament. At the start of the 2010-11 season, the Bison beat its first nationally ranked team in No. 17 Lebanon Valley College for the first time in 12 years. Cook was selected as the NEAC Coach of the Year this past season and took home the 2011 Division III Region 3 Coach of the Year award presented by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

Gallaudet’s 2010-11 team were the national media darlings of Division III women’s basketball as the program was covered nationally and internationally by ABC News, Associated Press, CBS Evening News, ESPN College Gameday, National Public Radio, Comcast Sportsnet, Inside Higher Education and Global News in Canada. The team was written up in Parade MagazineSports Illustrated and Washington Post and online at NCAA.com, D3hoops.com to name a few of the star-studded media outlets that did a story on the team.

The previous season, Cook experienced success and his first winning record at Gallaudet as the team went 14-12 and made the Capital Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in three years. The winning record was the first for the program in 10 years. Cook went on to receive the 2010 Carol Eckman Award at the WBCA national convention in San Antonio, Texas, on April 6, for exemplifying Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose. Cook was the first Division III coach to be honored since the award’s inception in 1986 when Laura Mapp from Bridgewater (Va.) was selected as the first honoree.

Gallaudet went 7-9 in conference play that season. The seven wins equaled the total amount of conference wins the Bison had over the past nine years in the CAC combined (7-123). Cook posted a 3-21 record his first season (2007-08) at Gallaudet and doubled the win total a year later at 6-19.