Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Beano Cook, the colorful college football
expert best known for his 26-year stint with ESPN, passed away Thursday at the
age of 81.
Renowned for his dry wit and an extensive historical knowledge of the sport,
Cook began his tenure with ESPN in 1986 and had previously served as a press
publicist for both ABC Sports and CBS. The longtime Pittsburgh resident began
his sports career as the sports information director at his alma mater, the
University of Pittsburgh, in 1956 and held that position until 1966.
Cook left Pitt to become the NCAA press director for ABC Sports, where he
remained until 1974, and also worked as a sportswriter for the St. Petersburg
Times and the public relations director for the Miami Dolphins before joining
CBS' public relations department in 1977 and staying there until 1982.
Cook maintained a strong relationship at Pitt even after his departure, with
the working media room at the Petersen Events Center named in his honor in
"Beano left a legacy never to be matched," said Pittsburgh athletic director
Steve Pederson. "Not matched in accomplishment, wit or loyalty to Pitt and his
friends. Like so many others, it has been my privilege to be the beneficiary
of Beano's counsel and friendship. He loved the University of Pittsburgh and
his name is synonymous with all good things at Pitt. We all feel a tremendous
void in our lives today."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cook was a diabetic who had been
experiencing health problems over the past few years.
The Sports Network