Behind every good head coach is a great wife, mother, and fan
By Howell Dennis
Mrs. Faye Cook, wife of legendary Notre Dame High football coach Lewis Cook, seems to have her holiday ritual down after being married into a football family for the past 36 years.
“We have birthdays, our anniversary, and of course the holidays that all fall during football season,” said Faye, who also teaches Religion at Notre Dame. “Birthday and semifinal week always fall during the same time. One year we had J.T. Casanova (who wore number 11) rush out onto the field to take a picture of Stu for his eleventh birthday.”
This Friday at 8 p.m. Notre Dame will be playing Parkview Baptist for the AAA state championship in the New Orleans Superdome. Upon surveying the Cook’s living room, it is quite obvious that the Superdome is a place that the Cook family is quite accustomed to visiting judging by the pictures on her living room wall.
Mrs. Cook proudly shows off her countless pictures of her boys - Lou, 27, Jeff, 25, and current Notre Dame player Stu, 17 - that virtually cover her living room wall. And, of course, she is obviously very proud of her husband.
She remembers fondly Louie’s first job as a linebacker coach at Rayne High School.
“I didn’t even know what a linebacker was,” she laughed. “I had to do a little research to get caught up with how this game works.”
Needless to say her studying has paid off.
“My classroom is on the second floor overlooking the practice field and I’m so impressed with how organized their practices are,” she said. “Louie is a very constructive coach, he doesn’t demean his players. However, one thing I know he hates are penalties - especially personal fouls.”
She also mentioned he and his son Lou Jr.’s work ethic.
“As soon as each season ends they are already thinking about how they can improve next year,” she said.
As a teacher at Notre Dame, Faye teaches or has taught most of the players on the team. When asked if any of the players were ever brave enough to misbehave in wife’s class Faye laughed.
“They are a great bunch of kids,” she smiled.
Mrs. Cook also wanted to be sure to mention that she wasn’t the only coach’s wife that should be recognized.
“All of the assistant coach’s wives are very dedicated,” she said. “They are all unsung heros.”
“I would also like to give some kudos to the parents who help out the team,” she said. “The Pio-moms are fantastic. Every game day they cook the pregame meal . . . they’re very organized.”
This Thursday when the team leaves for New Orleans Faye Cook will, of course, be along for the trip.
“Once we made it to the dome three consecutive years,” she said proudly.
This year she hopes that Lewis will be bringing a state championship trophy when they return. Win or lose, however, she will most assuredly return with several more pictures for their wall.