By Dennis Dodd
John Cook has seen the future of women’s athletics. Never mind, for now, the four national championships he has won as Nebraska’s volleyball coach, making it possibly the most successful at an athletic department that has ridden football excellence for decades.
That future was revealed to him decades ago as a high school coach in San Diego. To continue coaching football at Francis Parker School — a college preparatory institution — Cook had to become a full-time teacher. To do that, he agreed to coach girl’s volleyball, basketball and softball “doing everything”.
“Doing everything” meant training the girls the same way he trained the boys in football.
“It was cool to go watch the girls play. I was coaching them like football. … I was really hard on them,” Cook recalled. “We had 6-mile runs in the soft sand down in Mission Beach. They had to hit a certain time. The girls loved it even though they had a hard time with it. They loved being pushed.”