Dr. Louis Cooke
Class of 1991
Basketball Coach: 1897-1924

In 1897 Louis "Doc" Cooke was hired to be "Director of the Department of Physical Culture for Men" and "Director of the Department of Physical Education for Men" at the University of Minnesota. He held an M.D. degree from the University of Vermont and in 1897 was serving as the physical director for the Minneapolis YMCA. Cooke was the coach of the University's first Men's intercollegiate basketball team in 1897 and continued to coach for 28 years. His 1901-02 and 1918-19 Golden Gopher teams were undefeated and named National Champions. In 1906 Minnesota claimed the first Big Ten Conference basketball title with a 6-1 league record and 13-2 overall. In 1924, after 28 years of loyal service to the Maroon and Gold, Cooke stepped down as the head coach of the Gophers. Cooke, who also guided Minnesota to five conference titles, called it quits with an outstanding 250-135-2 (.642) career record. His legacy would include taking a mere fad sport, no more popular than a gym class activity, and helping to turn it into one of our nation's greatest national past times. Cooke, who also coached the Women's Basketball and Tennis teams, is even credited for being the initiator of the student health service at the University. Cooke's legacy was forever preserved when the main athletics building on campus was later renamed Cooke Hall in honor of all his hard work and dedication -Minnesota Gopher Website









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