Beano Cook, Pitt alumnus and former Sports Information Director, dead at 81

University of Pittsburgh

ESPN analyst, Pittsburgh sports commentator, and Pitt alumnus Beano Cook passed away this week.

Carroll "Beano" Cook, a longtime ESPN college football analyst and Pittsburgh sports commentator, has passed away. ESPN colleague Ivan Maisel announced the sad news this morning.

Cook will always be remembered for his historical references to players from a half a century ago at "The University of Notra Dame" and his catchphrase, "Unbelievable". But what many people don't know is that he was an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh. Cook graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1954 and actually began his career in sports as the university's sports information director, serving in that capacity from 1956-1966.

"My two favorite Pitt athletes are Mike Ditka and Don Hennon," Cook remembered. "If the bad guys are coming over the hill and I have to be in a foxhole with anybody, I’d want to be with Mike. He might not feel the same way about me. I really liked Don and he was the best basketball player we had at Pitt during my ten years there and is definitely one of the best ever.

"Getting to know the athletes really provided me with my fondest memories. That was the most fun. Sports information directors live in a world of reflected glory. If someone makes an All-America team you feel like you had something to do with it. Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. The player who got the honor probably was ninety-nine percent responsible but it was still gratifying being part of the process."

Beano Cook was one of the great ones, he was the "Pope of College Football". Today is a sad day. Rest in peace, Beano.

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