Men's Basketball

    Indiana Athletics Mourns the Loss of Bill Cook

    Go Hoosiers! Bill and Gayle Cook
    Go Hoosiers!
    Bill and Gayle Cook
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 15, 2011

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University Department of Athletics was saddened to learn of the passing of long-time friend Bill Cook, founder of the Bloomington-based medical equipment manufacturer Cook Group Inc., who passed away today at his Bloomington home. He was 80.

    Cook and his wife, Gayle, contributed $15 million toward the completion of a new practice facility, Cook Hall, for the men's and women's basketball programs. It was the single biggest donation Indiana athletics has ever received.

    Fred Glass, Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics
    "The coolest thing for me was just to get a chance to meet him. Even after the gift was complete, we had a few conversations. Not a lot, but it was an acquaintanceship that I really treasured. He and his wife's gift to the athletic department really helped kick start the Tom Crean era, making Cook Hall what it is today and showing confidence that we were going the right way. His gift led to many other significant gifts. They weren't as big as Bill's, but it was obviously that people realized that if Bill Cook thinks this is something he ought to invest in, maybe we ought to as well. When you're dealing with a guy like that, what can you say? He was something else. I feel lucky just to have known him."

    Tom Crean, Indiana Head Men's Basketball Coach
    "I am stunned and saddened. It's hard to do justice to what he meant to not only this University, community and state but even the world. He was literally a life-changing giant of a man and leader. Not many people can say they made the world a better place because of work they did, but Mr. Cook sure can. The contributions he made will continue to impact lives forever."

    "Players, recruits and fans will constantly have the opportunity to be blessed by the presence of Cook Hall. We always show them the Bill and Gayle Cook plaques with the names of EVERY COOK EMPLOYEE listed on them. It shows a token of the appreciation of those that worked with them. We never get tired of talking about how special the Cook family is and always will be."

    Felisha Legette-Jack, Indiana Head Women's Basketball Coach
    "We have a chance with so many top recruits because of our facilities. Mr. Cook has done so much to help so many achieve. My heart is heavy knowing tonight he passed away. My condolences goes out to his family. Mr. Cook, we will work hard to make you proud."


    Historic $15 Million Gift To IU Athletics Continues Cook's Longtime Commitment To Higher Education
    Indiana University President Michael McRobbie and Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass announced the single largest gift in the history of the department of athletics on Feb. 21, 2010. The Cook Group has made a $15 million gift to the For the Glory of Old IU capital campaign, which will be most immediately utilized to support and enhance the new basketball development center for the benefit of the men and women basketball program student athletes. In recognition of this historic gift, Indiana University will permanently name the new basketball development center "Cook Hall".
    >> Read more on the Cook Gift.

    Cook Hall
    It can be argued that no other sport is as beloved by Hoosiers as basketball. IU's legacy of basketball excellence includes five national men's championships, 20 Big Ten men's championships, a Big Ten women's championship, and countless other successes. Throughout our storied history, IU's elite reputation has made it a top choice for many young basketball players. But our basketball legacy would not be possible without dedicated coaches and staff and the critical facilities our student-athletes use daily to train, develop, and compete.

    As our basketball programs have evolved, so has the need for modern practice facilities. Thanks to the generosity of Bill and Gayle Cook and many other loyal IU fans, alumni, and donors, 
Indiana University's Cook Hall is among the finest basketball development centers in the nation.
    >> Read more about Cook Hall.

     

     

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