Mark Cook Named North Dakota State Head Soccer Coach
Release: January 25, 2012
Cook comes to NDSU after serving as the Director of Coaching at the Minnesota Thunder Academy for 11 years. The Minnesota Thunder Academy is one of the premier club programs in the Twin Cities.
"On behalf of women's soccer at North Dakota State University I am extremely pleased to welcome Mark Cook as the new head coach," said Dorn. "Mark's extensive knowledge and understanding of soccer, his work ethic, and capacity to teach and develop talent are exceptional. Most telling though is Mark's passion for the game and for those who share his passion. He is committed to making a difference in the lives of our student-athletes who also love the game. We look forward to having Mark lead the soccer program and welcome Mark to the Bison family."
In his role as director of coaching, Cook helped grow Minnesota Thunder Academy from a four-team program in 2001 to a 65-team program in 2012. He was responsible for all aspects of the club's operation, including the hiring and training of all coaches, coordinating college recruitment programs, recruiting players for the elite girls program, overseeing all competition and practice schedules and managing the budget. Under his leadership, MTA placed approximately 85% of all club graduates in collegiate soccer programs.
"I'm really excited to be part of the NDSU community," said Cook. "I got a sense on my visit that this is a great place to be. I can't wait to start working with the players, faculty and staff at North Dakota State. I would like to thank Pete Cuadrado and John Ross for all their hard work and dedication for the past nine years. They've left the program in great shape and I look forward to continuing their success. I'd also like to thank Lynn Dorn, Gene Taylor and Dean Bresciani for giving me this opportunity."
In addition to his role at MTA, Cook is also currently the assistant varsity coach at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The team advanced to the 2010 Minnesota Class AA quarterfinals and in 2011, he was named the Minnesota Class AA assistant coach of the year.
Cook served as the head coach for the MTA 94 Elite Clubs National League team from 2007-11. He guided the team to five straight Minnesota State Cup titles, two berths in the ECNL quarterfinals, the 2007 USYSA Region II title and the 2010 USYSA national finals.
He was the head coach of the club team Bangu Tsunami Stars for five years prior and led the team to four Minnesota State Cup championships, the 2005 US Club Soccer national finals and the 2003 USYSA Region II semifinals.
Cook served as the head coach at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minn. from 1998-2002 and led the Stars to the 2002 Class A state title and the 2000 and 2001 state finals. He was named the 2002 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) North Region Coach of the Year. He was an assistant at Holy Angels for five years prior to taking the head coaching position. He was named the 1997 and 1998 Minnesota Class A assistant coach of the year.
Cook holds the United States Soccer Federation ‘A' coaching license, the highest certification available in the U.S. He also has the NSCAA Premier License and Director of Coaching Diploma.
He graduated from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. in 1993 with a B.A. in communications. He was the starting goalkeeper for Alfred soccer for two years.
The Bison finished the 2011 season with a record of 15-4-2, setting a school record for single-season wins. NDSU advanced to the final of the Summit League tournament before falling to Oakland. Individually, Abbey Moenkedick was named The Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and earned first team all-league honors. NDSU will lose 10 seniors from the 2011 team.