Sacred Heart University
Director of Athletics • 1992-2013
A fixture for the last 50 years on the collegiate athletic scene in the state of Connecticut, Cook has not only become synonymous with Sacred Heart University, but he is also deeply rooted in Northeast Conference history.
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 the past five Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cups to tie the league record for consecutive Cup wins. The Pioneers have 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 recent 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.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for the entire NEC family,” said Morris. “With this induction we are given the opportunity to celebrate Don’s amazing career and the incredible impact he’s had on the Northeast Conference; however, we’re also forced to say goodbye to one of the all time great athletic administrators as Don enjoys a well-earned move into retirement. Personally, I cannot put into words what Don Cook has meant to me over the last three years. He will be missed greatly, not only for his inspired approach to providing the Sacred Heart student-athletes and coaches with remarkable opportunities but more so for his positive outlook on life and his true friendship. Congratulations Don!”
“Don Cook’s induction to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame is another statement of what a tremendous administrator, professional colleague and true friend Don is,” said Jack McDonald, Quinnipiac Director of Athletics. “It has been a pleasure knowing and working with Don for the past 18 years and I and all in the NEC wish him and his family the very best in his golden days ahead.”