The man who led Anaconda High School girls’ basketball through its glory days will try to do the same at Butte High.
Maury Cook confirmed tonight that he has accepted the position as head coach of the Butte High girls’ basketball team. His hire is subject to approval of the Butte School Board, a move that is seen as a formality.
Blake Hempstead of KANA Radio in Anaconda was the first to report the hiring on Twitter.
“You just don’t get the opportunity like this very often,” Cook said. “You have to take advantage of it when you get it.”
Cook, 50, coached for 16 years at Anaconda High School, the last eight as the head coach of the Copperheads. His Anaconda teams went to the Class A State tournament seven out of eight season.
The Copperheads won the back-to-back State titles in 2008 and 2009. Anaconda was runner up in 2005. The 2008 title was the second in school history and the first since 1973.
Under Cook, the Copperheads won seven straight Southwestern A titles from 2005-2011.
Cook, who is the principal at the Ramsay Elementary School, stepped down as the leader of the Copperheads after the 2011 season.
“The next level is intriguing,” Cook said of taking over the Class AA Bulldogs. “The Class AA is a step up, and I’m excited to take that challenge.”
Cook is the first to admit he had some big-time talent during his run at Anaconda. He coached Anaconda’s all-time leading scorer in Ali Hurley, who went on to play for the University of Montana. Torry Hill was also a superstar for the Copperheads before playing for the Lady Griz.
“We were blessed with that talent, and that helped a lot,” Cook said.
At Butte High, Cook said he will focus on building a program and working with the talent on hand.
“At the high school level you don’t get to pick and choose,” he said. “We’ve just got to coach who’s there and enjoy it.”
Cook’s first order of business will be lining up assistant coaches and getting ready to work with his players in the summer.
A 1983 graduate of Powell County High School, Cook says his plan is to remain on the job in Ramsay and commute from his home in Anaconda.
Cook replaces Liza Dennehy, who stepped down after two seasons. 4 comments