MVP Sports Channel

Chris Cook Stays In The South…Southeast New Mexico That Is

Mention Roswell, New Mexico and most people will probably think of the famous flying saucer crash of 1947. They still debate it to this very day.
Mention Roswell to Arkansas State and Austin Peay fans and they will probably say it’s the new home for Chris Cook.
Chris CookDuring the spring he was named the head baseball coach at New Mexico Military Institute, yes the UFO City is home to the state’s military school. It has been around for more than a century and Roger Staubach played their as well.
Cook has made the circuit as an assistant coach. He spent six seasons at Arkansas State, one season at APSU and he also spent some time at Lander University in Greenwood, SC and at a college in Texas and at Rockford College too.
He came to Roswell in June and has been doing everything he can to get ready for the season.
Working at a military school, he admits there’s some challenges. He says academic standards are tougher than some of the other places that he’s been. He also says that time demands are stronger at NMMI and he says he’s gotten support from the administration. “So far, it’s been great.”
At Arkansas State, he says the focus of the job, “its purely baseball.” “Here, its almost impossible to be focused on baseball.” NMMI’s focus is on academics, the military and athletics.
“This school is a good investment for their futures,” he says. He tells the parents of prospective recruits that a degree from NMMI, “will help them down the road.”
The Bronco roster is a virtual who’s who of places across the United States, New Mexico is well represented along with Texas, the southern United States and the northeast. There’s even a player from the Domican Republic on the roster.
“New Mexico kids have a sense of what NMMI is about, they understand the degree has some value to it.”
He likes Tyler Gibson. The Albuquerque native has, “a bright future ahead at a Division One school or (Major League) draft.” Cook says the sophomore was an all conference player last year. He’s 6-foot-4 and can play shortstop and pitch.
While Major and Minor League Baseball are getting ready for fall, NMMI’s fall season is well underway. The schedule is practically an all-comers meet with with games against Americus High School from El Paso, Texas. An alumni game, a 100 inning fundraiser, two games with El Paso Community College and another with Eastern New Mexico University plus some other high school teams to name a few.
“We do play a lot of high school travel teams,” he says. “It will help us in recruiting. Its really an evualuation practice for us, there’s a lot developing that needs to be done.”
Cook adds the games now will be a good teaching tool as the season starts for real in early February.
While Chris Cook has found a new home don’t be surprised if some of his players follow his path to Arkansas State or APSU.

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