Robb Cook

Robb Cook was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Birch Run High School, where he collected a total of 11 varsity letters when he graduated in 1987. In wrestling, he set Birch Run records at the time with 144 career victories. He was 17-13 as a freshman, 38-14 his sophomore year, 44-4 as a junior and 45-1 his senior year – with 31 coming on pins. Cook was state runner-up twice and was named MVP in the upper weight classes at the Saginaw County Meet as a senior. In track and field, he ran the 200 meters in :22.9 and the 400 meters in :50.4, qualifying for the state meet in both events. He also set school marks running on a pair of relay teams – the 800 meters and the 1600 meters. The 6-foot, 180-pound Cook was both team captain and Most Valuable Player his senior year in football when he named to the Saginaw News All-Area Dream Team as a solid two-way player and also earning first team All-Conference and Associated Press All State laurels as a running back. As a sophomore, he ran for 297 yards. He blossomed his junior year with 725 yards rushing and seven TDs. His senior year saw him rush for 1,473 yards in 173 carries, while catching five passes for 59 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns along the way. He also threw a TD pass and completed two of three passes for 65 yards. On defense, he had 50 solo tackles and assisted on 21 others. The Panther running back, who averaged 7.3 yards per carry in his three-year varsity career, set school records at the time for yards rushing in a season (1,473) and career (2,493), touchdowns in a season (18) and for a career (26) His best night came in 1986, a 233-yard rushing performance on just 21 carries against Montrose. Defensively, he had the top mark for career tackles with 210. Cook recovered six career fumbles and blocked one kick. Birch Run was a sparkling 24-3 (.889) in his three years on the varsity. He led the Panthers in tackles three consecutive seasons and in rushing yards twice. Cook earned a football scholarship to Saginaw Valley State University after spurning offers from Northern Michigan University and Northwood Institute. He became the only two-way starter head coach George Ihler ever had at Saginaw Valley. Cook entered the SVSU football program and promptly established himself at free safety when he racked up 71 tackles, 21 assists, one blocked kick and one sack. By his sophomore season he was a mainstay at fullback on offense when he rushed for 1,051 yards and ranked fifth nationally with a 30.2 kickoff return average. Cook had 10 career touchdowns as a Cardinal and 1,795 total rushing yards, good for a 5.6-yard average Cook also picked up All-GLIAC honors both in 1989 and 1990 as a linebacker. During his senior year he set a school record with 149 tackles, breaking the previous mark set by Eugene Marve. The four-time All-Conference player was twice named team Most Valuable Player. He was nominated for the Harlon Hill Award his senior year, which goes to the MVP in NCAA’s Division II.