After leading the Winthrop (S.C.) University women’s basketball team to the NCAA tournament in 2014, things haven’t gone very well for head coach Kevin Cook.
Cook, an Urbana University graduate and member of that school’s hall of fame, led Winthrop to only six wins the last two seasons before being suspended on Jan. 25 for what the university called a “personnel matter.”
Winthrop athletic director Ken Halpin told The Associated Press that he could not discuss the matter until things were settled.
Cook has also been battling Parkinson’s Disease and needed brain surgery in 2015 to help alleviate some of its symptoms.
Cook was an assistant coach for the four-time WNBA champion Houston Comets (1997-2000), and former Comets’ head coach Van Chancellor recently told me that Cook was an asset to his coaching staff.
“I enjoyed working with Kevin Cook during our time with the Comets in Houston,” said Chancellor. “There is no doubt in my mind that the Comets would not have had the success we enjoyed if not for Kevin.
“Kevin is one of the most hard-working coaches I know. He is extremely loyal. He always put the players and team first. He has a great basketball mind and is able to work with players to improve their game whether it is the professional player or a young player in a camp setting.
“Any time we had a player that had a bad game or a bad practice, Kevin was the first one to go to them and encourage them and if necessary point out how they could change their game. He had a gift for gaining the trust of our players.
“I was fortunate to coach with Kevin for 10 years. I respect him as a coach, but even more I am delighted to count him as a friend.”
Trivia Time – Kyle Shanahan was an assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
This week’s question – In what year was Van Chancellor inducted into the The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame?