Print this story

One of the best, Pat Cooke, steps down as AD at The Gilbert School.

POSTED July 11, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

He would always greet you with that big, warming smile whenever you came across him on the grounds of The Gilbert School, no matter what the day may have been like previous to him meeting up with you.

I’m going to miss that smile although I’m sure I’ll still see my friend, Pat Cooke and that big grin at just about every Yellowjacket event but it will be in a different capacity.

After seven years guiding the athletic program as Athletic Director, Cooke is stepping away from the toughest job in any school, but he leaves the programs in pristine shape for his successor, Donny Crossman.

His drive and motivation to make his programs top notch are the signatures of his time at the helm of the school on the hill, the one that he loves so much.

One thing about an AD though. Your family and personal time add up to as close to zero as one could imagine while school is in session and even over the fast fleeting summer days.

Fortunately for the student body at The Gilbert School, Cooke will still be in the classroom and around the building, he is that valuable and the students are lucky to have him.  

Here is his statement that he sent to his staff.

“It is hard to imagine that seven years has snapped by since I began in my role as Athletic Director at The Gilbert School.

As I take on a different role now, I just wanted to say thank you to an amazing group of caring and dedicated coaches, support staff, and professionals.  You all have been incredibly supportive and committed to what really matters, our student-athletes.  In what I will always contest is the toughest and most underappreciated job in education, the athletic director, you have all done your part to make this job just a little bit easier, that much more manageable, and the best seven years of my educational career.

Coming in with a vision and a direction to put the athletics program at Gilbert back on the map, I truly believe we made some fantastic progress (revised eligibility policy, community service initiative, focus on an education-based athletics program, 5 CIAC Michaels Cup awards, along with quite a few programs ready to make the turn!!). 

Most of that had to do with you and the work done by you and all the time and energy you have invested into the programs and student-athletes at Gilbert.

Fortunately, as most of you have already heard, I leave the athletics program in great hands as Donny Crossman now takes the lead as Gilbert's new Athletic Director. 

I am positive that things will continue in a great direction as Donny definitely bleeds the Blue and Gold.”   

I salute my friend Pat Cooke and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here