Former Athletics Director Cook Passes Away
STATESBORO, Ga. - Former Georgia Southern Director of Athletics George Cook, who also served as a coach for the baseball, basketball and golf programs, passed away this weekend. Cook guided the Athletics Department from 1975-1981 after a successful career as a baseball coach and administrator at South Georgia College. Visitation is set for Sunday, October 16th, from 1:30-3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Statesboro. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m.
A Guyton, Ga., native, Cook played baseball for Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University) and graduated in 1950. He taught and coached at several high schools in south Georgia before returning to Statesboro in 1961 to pursue a graduate degree. Prior to earning his M.Ed. in 1962, he served as an assistant baseball coach under J.I. Clements as the Eagles' won the national championship that season. He also served as an assistant basketball coach under J.B. Scearce and was instrumental in the start of the Georgia Southern Golf program, which recently recognized its 50th year as a team.
Cook joined the faculty and coaching staff at South Georgia College in Douglas, Ga., and in 1964 he was appointed Athletic Director and Division Chair of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He also served as head baseball coach for the Tigers and guided the program to five consecutive Georgia Baseball Championships, three regional championships, two district crowns and two national tournaments. The Tigers' baseball stadium is named the George A. Cook Stadium in his honor.
For his coaching efforts, he was honored as the Southeast Coach of the Year for back-to-back years in 1969 and 1970. He was also named the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coach of the Year four times (1966, '67, '68 and 1970). For seven years, he served as the national president of the NJCAA College Baseball Coaches Association. In 1988 he was inducted into the National Junior College Athletics Association Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize the success in his coaching career. His name was added to the Georgia Southern Baseball Wall of Fame in 2002.
A longtime member of the local Kiwanis International Club, Cook was preceded in death by his daughter, Carol. He is survived by his wife, Sara Betty, and son, Kevin, a faculty member in the Georgia Southern Political Science department.
- Category: Athletics
- Published on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 12:33