June 26, 2013

Don Cook Inducted into Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame

Fairfield, Conn. (June 26, 2013)—Former Sacred Heart University Executive Director of Athletics C. Donald Cook will be the one of the newest members inducted into the Fairfield Country Sports Hall of Fame announced Wednesday afternoon in a press conference on the campus of UConn Stamford.  Cook will be inducted in to the J. Walter Kennedy Community Service wing, joining other Pioneers Dave Bike, Nick Giaquinto, Amanda Pape and Bobby Valentine in the Fairfield County Hall of Fame.

Cook, along with the other five 2013 inductees, will be honored by the Fairfield County Sports Commission Inc. at an induction ceremony at the Commission's 9th Annual Sports Night awards dinner on Monday, October 21st at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich.

A fixture for the last 50 years on the collegiate athletic scene in the state of Connecticut, Cook announced his retirement this past season.  He has been a fixture at Sacred Heart University for the past 20 years.  This past winter, he was honored with induction in the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame.

Upon Cook’s arrival as Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart in 1992, the University began an unrivaled 20-year period of growth under his leadership.  During his tenure, Sacred Heart expanded its intercollegiate athletic program from 12 to 31 varsity sports and constructed several new facilities, including the $17.5 million William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center, which was completed in 1997.  He led the program’s move to Division I status, which began in 1999 as a full member of the NEC.

With Cook at the helm, the Sacred Heart athletic program has set a standard of excellence in the NEC, winning five-straight Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cups to tie the league record for consecutive Cup wins.  The Pioneers also won six consecutive Joan Martin Women’s Commissioner’s Cup awards, extending their own league record.  Likewise, SHU student-athletes have excelled off the playing field, winning the NEC’s Building Communities Award in each of its first two years of existence.  

Cook guided the University through its first NCAA Division I certification in 2007, and was a recipient of the Sacred Heart Administrator of the Year Award.  

Cook has taken on numerous roles within the league’s governance structure, including chair of the NEC Athletic Director’s Committee from 2010-12.  He also served on the NEC Strategic Planning Committee, NEC Membership Committee and was chair of the NEC Baseball Committee.

Prior to his arrival at Sacred Heart, Cook was a co-founder and the first president of the MAAC, and also served as President of the ECAC.  On a national scale, he has been a member of the NCAA Council, and served on the NCAA Division I-A and I-AA Football Issues Committee.

Cook also served as Athletics Director at Fairfield (1971-86) and Hartford (1986-92).  In addition, he directed the Fairfield baseball program for 19 years, producing 15 pro players during that time.

He is a member of the Fairfield Alumni Association’s Athletic Hall of Fame, the highest athletic honor at the University, for his accomplishments as an athlete, coach and administrator.