BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lynn University head cross country coach Chris Wood has announced the newest addition to the men's and women's cross country and track programs as Roger Cooke will be joining the staff as a full-time assistant coach effective immediately.
"I am extremely excited to add Roger to our young program," said Wood. "His time as an athlete and coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) will prove to be a valuable asset to Lynn. He has coached and trained with Olympic-caliber athletes and the team will be motivated by the energy he brings to the program."
Cooke will assist with all facets of both the men's and women's programs, but his focus will be primarily on training long-distance runners and recruiting, with an emphasis on the newly-formed men's cross country and track programs.
"I want to thank Devin Crosby and Chris Wood for the opportunity to join one of the up-and-coming track and cross country programs in the nation," said Cooke. "I am looking forward to working with Coach Wood in establishing our inaugural men's program, while continuing to build the women's program in pursuit of success at the conference and national levels. Having the privilege of competing and coaching at LSU, and working to build the program at Hartford, Lynn was an easy sell and the draw to build a program and add to its current total of 23 national titles speaks for itself."
He joins Lynn following one year at the University of Hartford where he trained long-distance runners on the cross country and track teams. Cooke is no stranger to high-level cross country and track competition, as he has spent each of the last three seasons coaching at the NCAA Division I level following a four-year career as a runner at LSU. Prior to Hartford, Cooke coached multiple top finishers for LSU at the SEC Championships, including an 800-meter All-American and a Cross Country Runner of the Year.
As a student-athlete, Cooke was a standout on and off the track, serving as a key member of LSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in community service opportunities. He competed in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters as well as cross country for the Tigers, earning four SEC Academic Honor Roll selections and a nod as LSU's Cross Country Runner of the Year as a senior.
A native of Glen Allen, Virginia, and a 2013 graduate of LSU, Cooke has a bachelor's degree in history with a concentration in secondary education and a minor in political science. He and his wife, Michelle, are both alums of the LSU Track & Field/Cross Country programs.