USC Upstate baseball head coach Matt Fincher announced Monday that former Spartan standout Tyler Cook has returned to the program as an assistant coach and will work primarily with the hitters and outfielders.
Cook returns to Upstate following a successful stint at Eastern Kentucky where he served as a volunteer assistant coach in 2015. Cook assisted with hitting instruction, formulated spray charts and scouting reports and was responsible for outfield defense, helping the Colonel outfielders finish the season with a .974 fielding percentage. In addition, EKU outfielder Kyle Nowlin earned a spot on the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team and was drafted in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
A native of Bloomington, Ill., Cook spent two summers coaching the Lexington Snipes, a Midwest Collegiate League team located in Bloomington. Last season as head coach of the Snipes, Cook led the club to a 23-18 record and a playoff berth for the second consecutive season.
“Everyone is thrilled that Tyler decided to come back to Upstate and help the program.” Fincher said. “He’s a guy that is very familiar with the program and the Atlantic Sun Conference and will be a tremendous help for our program moving forward.”
Cook spent the 2014 season working as a baseball operations assistant at Belmont while earning a master’s degree in sport administration.
Cook was a three-year starter in the outfield at USC Upstate and posted a .272 career batting average. He ended his collegiate career ranked in the top-20 in school history in hits, games played, games started and at bats. He graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management and economics concentration.
“I had an amazing experience at Upstate as a player and I am glad coach Fincher gave me the opportunity to come back as a coach,” Cook said. “I’m looking forward to helping our guys take it to the next level, building on what they have done in the past to put us in a position to compete for Atlantic Sun championships.”