Winthrop’s Cooke named NCAA Mid-Major Rookie Coach of the Year

Posted April 25, 2013 8:37 am | Filed under Featured, Sports, Winthrop Basketball

ROCK HILL, SC–Winthrop women’s head basketball coach Kevin Cook has been recognized as one of three NCAA Mid-Major Rookie Head Coaches of the Year and Christena Hamilton is one of the six top Mid-Major Assistant Coach Recruiters in Kenny Kallina’s annual College Coaching Awards listing for 2012-13.

In his first season as a NCAA Div. I head coach, Cook guided the Eagles to a school-record 21 wins and to its first post-season win since Winthrop became a NCAA member in 1986. Winthrop defeated Florida Gulf Coast 65-51 in the first round of the WNIT before falling to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen round.

He was joined on the awards list by Bowling Green’s Jennifer Roos and Hall of Famer and former Texas Southern head coach Cynthia Cooper, who was hired earlier this month by Southern California.

Before taking over the Winthrop coaching reigns, he spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach for the Eagles. From 2007 until 2011, he served as the head coach of Gallaudet University, where he led his team to a 24-4 record during the 2010-11 season and was named the WBCA Region III Coach of the Year. Gallaudet is the world’s only all-deaf college. Prior to taking the Gallaudet job, he served as an assistant coach for 10 years with the Houston Comets of the WNBA and helped lead that team to four straight championships. Cook has also served as the head coach of the Nigerian Women’s National Team.

Hamilton, a former player and cum laude graduate of Temple, has served as an assistant coach at Winthrop for the past two seasons. Immediately prior to arriving at Winthrop, she served as an assistant coach at Daytona State College.

Kenny Kallina owns and operates the GBBALL Insider College Basketball Scouting Service, Florida Girl’s Basketball Events & Club Teams, and is the Director of the “Basketball” Bob Corwin Showcase one of Florida’s most prestigious high school events.