Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.
Marshall University Athletics announced today that the new baseball field in Highlawn will be named “Jack Cook Field,” as approved by the University’s Board of Governors.
Jack Cook (1926-2021), a former player and coach at Marshall, holds the record for winningest coach in MU history tallying 442 career wins during his time with the Thundering Herd Baseball program. He was inducted into the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
Coach Cook guided the Green and White to two NCAA tournaments in 1973 and 1978 with Marshall coming within one win of the College World Series in ‘78. That season, the Thundering Herd won the Southern Conference and defeated Florida State and Clemson in the NCAA Tournament. Following the campaign, Marshall rose as high as 14th in the national polls, before finishing at 17th. For his efforts, Cook earned conference and region Coach of the Year honors and was a finalist for national Coach of the Year.
The Herd’s skipper also led the program to a share of the 1981 conference title and, again, earned the league’s Coach of the Year honor in 1989.
“What an amazing honor for our baseball program to play their games on Jack Cook Field,” Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears said. “Having the field named after Coach Cook fulfills the promise so many hoped would be achieved.”
“Jack Cook Field – I cannot think of a better name for our new field and better recognition for our legendary coach,” Marshall baseball coach Greg Beals said. “Coach Cook means so much to so many of our people and now every player that comes to play for The Herd will play on his field and know who he was.”
The department also announced that the clubhouse at the new ballpark will be named for Alex Lawrence, the former Herd standout from 1955-59. Other naming rights commitments are upcoming.