Most Recent Posts
- UK signee Marcus Lee overcame early education struggles to succeed in academics, athletics
- No. 12 Kentucky and No. 5 Arizona State to start best-of-three NCAA Super Regional set Saturday at 10 p.m. ET
- Stoops: Hiring Neal Brown to run Kentucky offense was a “no-brainer for me”
- Nunley, Cumbess Propel No. 12 UK Softball to Super Regionals
- DeCourcy says Julius Randle is “so freaking quick” and powerful he will be special
- UK football coach Mark Stoops on wife: “She gets involved as much as she can in a supportive role”
- Swiss Cat – Vacation notes and photos from Larry from his trip to Switzerland.
- Kentucky softball team earns 40th win to tie school record for most wins in a season
By LARRY VAUGHT
He never seemed like the Ã¢â‚¬Å“coat-and-tieÃ¢â‚¬Â type when he played football at Kentucky, but Tommy Cook was determined to avoid a sudden move into coaching to see what the business world was like.
Cook had 74 catches for 951 yards and six touchdowns during his career of six years from 2000-2005 that included several injuries that enabled him to get a sixth year of eligibility.
After graduation, he spent four years in surgical medical sales in Florida before deciding he might be ready for a change. He went home to Texas for about six months before Joker Phillips, his former coach at Kentucky, persuaded him to come back to the Wildcats as a graduate assistant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve tried to get Tommy here since he graduated,Ã¢â‚¬Â Phillips said Thursday. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The leadership and toughness he showed as a player, and the respect that he will earn from the (current) players, are the qualities that will make him a great coach.Ã¢â‚¬Â
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no surprise heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back in coaching. His grandfather was a high school football coach and principal in Texas and his father was a high school coach and teacher.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I had just listened to Joker, I would be further along in my coaching career now,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said Thursday. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had a coach tell me once that if you think about it each day, then give it a shot. I have thought about coaching every day.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am really excited. The one thing I did do when I left Kentucky was stay in touch with coach (Rich) Brooks and Joker. I respected both of them and they both wanted me back.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cook was a tenacious blocker at UK and helped Phillips with receivers in 2004 when he was recovering from a knee injury. However, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be working with the defense since former UK center Matt McCutchan will be back as the offensive graduate assistant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not quite sure yet exactly what all I will be doing,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know there will some different terminology for me to learn. My first order of business will be to make sure the terminology is not like a foreign language to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cook, who describes himself as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“football junkie,Ã¢â‚¬Â kept up with UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s progress while he was living in Jacksonville, Fla.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I stayed on top of the success UK had and I was especially proud of the some of the young pups I had played with when the bowl run started,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said.
There are no players left on the active roster that Cook played with at UK.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would think that is probably a good thing,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“That will probably make it a lot easier on me than it was Matt because there were some guys he had played with still on the team last year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cook has to pass a NCAA-mandated test to be able to help when recruits are on campus. He also has classes to attend, as he has started work on a masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree in sports leadership. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I never really thought about having to go to classes again,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook laughed and said.
He already has a place to live Ã¢â‚¬â€ heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s staying with former teammate Andrew Hopewell and his wife.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I got in town last week and I am still uncrating boxes. Andrew got me a room and has been great,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said.
Two other former teammates, receivers Aaron Boone and Derek Abney, also are now married and recently both became fathers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am actively dating somebody back in Texas. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see how this long-distance relationship goes before she hopefully gives in and moves here,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“A coachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hours are brutal. You have to have a significant other who is very, very understanding, and I think she is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cook hopes he can be as understanding if he happens to see a receiver make a mistake in practice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be coaching the receivers, but if I can give someone information that will help my team, I will spill my guts,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cook said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am sure I will be looking over to see what is happening on that side of the ball, but my priority will be defense.Ã¢â‚¬Â
2010 UK schedule
Sept. 4Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â at Louisville
Sept. 11 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Western Kentucky
Sept. 18 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Akron
Sept. 25 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â at Florida
Oct. 2Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â at Ole Miss
Oct. 9Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Auburn
Oct. 16 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â South Carolina
Oct. 23 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Georgia
Oct. 30Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â at Mississippi State
Nov. 6 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Charleston Southern
Nov. 13 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Vanderbilt
Nov. 27 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â at Tennessee