Aug. 20, 2001
Providence, Rhode Island - Paul Cooke, the Bears' highly respected freshman crew coach for the last seven seasons, has been named the head men's crew coach at Brown University.
"I'm excited to be taking over the head coaching position at Brown after being around the boathouse for a lot of years as a rower and coach," said Cooke. "I feel good about the people in our program and I have a good feel for the rich tradition of Brown crew."
A 1989 graduate of Brown, Cooke joined the Brown staff in 1994 as the coach of the freshman men's crew. He also assisted in all phases of running the Bears' national championship program.
In seven years with Cooke at Brown, the freshmen have raced with consistent success and have been perennial contenders for the championship at the Eastern Sprints and the IRA. The freshmen posted a 33-6 record in dual races during Cooke's tenure, including an undefeated dual season in the 2000 campaign. At the Eastern Sprints, the freshmen have won medals six times in seven tries, including the Eastern Sprints Championship in 1995. In 1999, Cooke's freshmen crew won the IRA, and set the course record at 5 minutes 34 seconds.
Cooke started his coaching career after college, when he moved to Seattle to coach the Green Lake boys' crew, part of a city-wide rowing program for high school students. His successes there led him to Cornell where he coached the freshman lightweight crew to a 21-4 record over three seasons. In 1992, his freshman eight was undefeated with an 8-0 dual meet record and a championship title at the Eastern Sprints. In 1994, the freshmen, including seven novice oarsmen, won the Sprints again.
In addition to his collegiate responsibilities, Cooke has helped to generate outstanding performances for United States Teams in international races. With the US Under-23 Team, Cooke has helped bring US teams to the Nation's Cup twice, in 1997 and 1999. In Hamburg in 1999, Cooke teamed with Dan Roock to coach the US eight to an open water victory at the Nation's Cup. As a junior team coach, Cooke had primary responsibility for the pair with coxswain that brought home the bronze medal in 1994, and he coached the four with coxswain to a silver medal in 1998.
A varsity oarsman at Brown, Cooke won IRA Championships with the freshmen and junior varsity eight, a silver medal at the IRA with the varsity and earned a bronze medal in the varsity eight at the National Collegiate Rowing Championship. A native of Ithaca, New York, Cooke currently resides in Barrington with his wife, Laura, and their children, Noelle and Andrew.