Pea Ridge promotes ex-Hog Cook to head coach
Pea Ridge elected to stay within its district to promote Brey Cook to head football coach during Monday’s school board meeting.
Cook, a former Springdale Har-Ber standout and an offensive lineman at the University of Arkansas, takes over the program after serving as the Blackhawks’ offensive line coach, strength coach and run game coordinator under Jeff Williams, who resigned after one season to become the Siloam Springs athletic director.
It’s a birthday present of sorts for Cook, who turns 28 today.
“I’m very humbled, honored and excited to become the new head coach,” Cook said. “I heard that Pea Ridge has a reputation of being a tough, close-knit community, and if you want to win at football, you have to be tough and close-knit.
“I saw that at Pea Ridge. A year later, everything I had heard and believed was exemplified. This community and this team were hit with some adversity, and they hit right back.”
After Cook finished his college career at Arkansas, he stayed with the Razorbacks as a graduate assistant for two years before heading to Memphis for one year as an assistant offensive line coach. He served as run game coordinator and strength coach at Southwest Baptist before moving to Pea Ridge.
Cook was one of three finalists for the vacancy. He was chosen over former Russellville coach Jeff Weaver and Greenwood offensive coordinator Zach Watson.
“I think all our candidates were quality football people and of high character,” Pea Ridge Athletic Director Tony Travis said. “But any time we started talking about the candidates, Brey’s name was at the top every single time.
“He has a great football mind and has such a great character that I think he’ll get people to buy in to what he’s trying to do, both from his coaching staff and the community. This will be our third coach in as many years, and we needed somebody who had experience and familiarity with this program. Brey’s a great fit for us and just what we need.”
Cook said he is ready to take what he learned at Arkansas and the other schools and apply it at Pea Ridge, which will begin its second year as a Class 5A school next fall.
“Being a head coach has been a goal of mine for a very long time,” Cook said. “The head coach is the person who sets the tempo on the team. If he sets a good tempo, then the assistant coaches and the players will match that tempo. That is what I’m excited to do here.”