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Alumni Hall of Fame
Athletic Achievement (2009)

Dean E. Cook

Dean E. Cook, a native of St. Marys, was a member of the Memorial High School Class of 1951. Mr. Cook notably distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete on the high school, collegiate and professional levels.

While a student at Memorial High School, Cook was a star athlete playing basketball, football and baseball. As a freshman, under the tutelage of Head Coach Lyle Barber, Dean contributed to the success of the 1948 Western Buckeye League Championship basketball team. As a sophomore starter, Dean Cook’s playing skills improved as he averaged 15.8 points per game. In his junior season, Dean Cook would establish his place by his individual performances as a legend of St. Marys Memorial High School basketball. Large crowds filled every seat in the Memorial High School Auditorium to see Dean Cook put on a show of speed and offensive prowess. Dean scored 400 total points for the season. This averaged to 25 points per game in an era when low scoring games were the norm. His senior season team, though he was not at the peak of his personal performance statistically, was perhaps the greatest team in St. Marys Memorial High School Roughrider basketball history. Under Coach Bill Brinkmeyer, this team won fifteen consecutive games on its way to becoming the undefeated 1951 Western Buckeye League Championship basketball team. That season came to an abrupt halt in a district finals loss to Lima Central, the team mentored by Cook’s former coach, Lyle Barber. All of these events of 1950 and 1951 took place on what today is the stage of the Memorial High School Performing Arts Center. However, these exploits, and the crowds that followed them, called for the construction of McBroom Gymnasium. Therefore, it could justifiably be said that McBroom Gymnasium is the house that Dean Cook built. Cook would leave Memorial High School having lettered all four years in basketball, three years in football and three years in baseball. Dean was not only recruited for college basketball, this quarterback for Barber and Bickel was also recruited by the day’s major college football programs. Ultimately, he followed his love of basketball.

After graduation from Memorial High School, Mr. Cook attended The Ohio State University on a basketball scholarship and played three seasons for the Buckeyes and Head Coach Floyd Stahl. During his freshman year, as a substitute off the bench, Cook had a last second steal that led to a buzzer-beating defeat of the nationally fifth-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, who were lead by legendary Head Coach Branch McCracken. Another legend would take note of Cook’s athletic ability: Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes, Head Football Coach of The Ohio State University Buckeyes. Hayes talked Dean Cook into playing spring football as an option quarterback. However, Dean did not leave the hardwood for the gridiron. Cook would become a starter his sophomore and junior years, playing with the likes of Robin Freeman, an All-Big Ten player. For a number of reasons, including marriage, the three year letterman would forgo his senior season with the Buckeyes. Dean Cook graduated from The Ohio State University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

After graduating from The Ohio State University, Mr. Cook embarked on a long and successful career with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. This career led him across the United States and the world to locations in Northern Ireland and Thailand. His professional life was briefly interrupted with service to his nation in the United States Army. But this businessman and veteran would not give up basketball entirely. Early in his professional life, he played for the Goodyear Wingfoots, a semi-pro team that was the equivalent to a minor league team for the National Basketball Association.

Mr. Cook, for his outstanding and superior athletic achievement at the high school, collegiate and professional levels, serves as an example to everyone that legends of their time do eventually take their rightful place in history. The echoes of his athletic prowess in the Auditorium are still heard today, and have carried over for many years in McBroom Gymnasium, The House That Dean Cook Built.


The above text, in its entirety, is embossed on a St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Hall of Fame plaque permanently on display in Memorial High School.
Dr. Raymond J. Dingledine, Jr.
Mrs. Phillis Cook spoke on behalf of her late husband, following his induction into the St. Marys Memorial High School Athletic Achievement Hall of Fame, Oct. 17, 2009, St. Marys American Legion Post 323 Hall.

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