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ϲʹBaseball Hosts Dedication of Don ’63 and Chris ’88 Cook Field

ϲʹBaseball Hosts Dedication of Don ’63 and Chris ’88 Cook Field

Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann, Don Cook '63, President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and Head Baseball Coach Bill Currier

(l-r): Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann, Don Cook '63, President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and Head Baseball Coach Bill Currier

The former Alumni Diamond has been renamed to honor the longtime ϲʹcoach and his family.

On Saturday, April 27, ϲʹBaseball hosted the official dedication of Don '63 and Chris '88 Cook Field in honor of C. Donald Cook '63, alumnus and former ϲʹ athletic director and head baseball coach. As a part of the dedication, Coach Cook threw out the first pitch prior to the Stags’ extra-inning win over Siena.

Don Cook was a standout with the ϲʹbaseball team where he served as co-captain in 1963. He became head coach in 1966, and directed the Stags for 19 seasons, transforming the program into a respected Division I entity. Eleven Stags who played under Cook's leadership went on to play professionally in the minor leagues, including Keefe Cato '82, the only ϲʹalumnus to appear in a Major League game.

In 1971, Cook was appointed director of athletics, a position he held until 1986. He supervised the building of the Recreation Complex, the expansion of Alumni Hall, and a renovation of Alumni Field. He was a co-founder and first president of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and was inducted into the ϲʹAthletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

The field's new name also honors the memory of Cook's son, Christopher Lance Cook '88, who died in 2014 after a long illness. Christopher earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 1988 from Fairfield's Charles F. Dolan School of Business, rising to the position of vice president and general manager of indirect equipment finance at Hitachi Capital America Corp. A scholar athlete, Christopher played baseball throughout his college career at ϲʹ(1985-88), and ranked among the Stags' batting leaders, following in his father's footsteps.

For nearly 50 years, Don Cook's tenure in college athletics has included serving as athletics director at three Connecticut institutions: ϲʹ, Sacred Heart University, and the University of Hartford.

Cook also served as board president of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1990; he was honored with the 1998 ECAC Athletics Administrator of the Year Award and received the 2013 Commissioner's Award. He is a member of the ϲʹCounty Sports Commission Athletic Hall of Fame and the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame.

Building upon Cook's legacy and with the loyal support of Friends of ϲʹBaseball, Stags Baseball has grown to become a national force under the leadership of Head Coach Bill Currier.

The ϲʹ baseball team is entering the final stretch of the regular season with a 27-20 overall record. They are currently tied for first place in the MAAC at 16-2 against conference foes. The Stags are 18-7 on Cook Field this spring, and will host in-state MAAC rival Quinnipiac for a three-game series on May 16-18 to round out the home schedule.

Tags:  Top Stories,  Athletics

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