Alumnus takes over baseball program
It’s the job Nick Rook has wanted since he graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School.
Rook, 29, has been named head baseball coach at his alma mater. He replaces Chris Stangel, whose contract wasn’t renewed after two turmoil-filled seasons. The Vikings were a combined 24-26 the past two years.
Rook was one of three finalists interviewed. A fourth, Elliot “Bump” Wills, withdrew his name the day before the other candidates were interviewed.
“I’m looking forward to what Nick will bring to the program,” CdA athletic director Todd Gilkey said. “Being a Coeur d’Alene High grad, he has history behind him. He has the best tools to help smooth out some rough waters we’ve had with the baseball program.”
Rook applied for the job two years ago when Brian Holgate resigned after 10 years. Rook assisted Holgate three seasons.
While Rook may have landed his dream job two years later than he wanted, he’s not complaining.
“It’s a great thing to be able to coach where you played because I understand Viking pride and the ideals that the high school has,” said Rook, a 1997 CdA graduate.
Rook assisted at CdA two years ago in Stangel’s first season. He resigned following the season.
A baseball and football standout at CdA, Rook signed to play baseball at UNLV. But injuries cut short his collegiate career.
He helped launch a family-owned business, Top Guns Development Camp, in 1997. Tops Guns is a baseball academy that allows high school-aged players an opportunity for exposure to college coaches. He continues to run the business.
Rook is looking forward to helping his future players get the most out of their high school experience.
“I learned so much about life through Coeur d’Alene High School,” Rook said. “To be able to come back and coach is a great opportunity.”