A younger enthusiastic Jimmy Cook, right, with brother Bob, left, and his dad, Bob Cook, watching a Butler game at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Then Jimmy today, announcing an NBA Summer League game.
By Al Stilley, Editor and Kelly Sawyers, Publisher
Native Southsider Jimmy Cook, newly named Roncalli Media Network broadcaster, is living proof that boyhood dreams can come true.
Cook will do the main audio and YouTube play-by-play for all RMN broadcasts of Roncalli High School athletics, succeeding network legend and sports information director Rob Brown who retired at the end of Roncalli’s two-peat IHSAA 4A state championship game last month.
Brown, by the way, is absolutely thrilled that he is followed by a Roncalli High School alumnus. Jimmy graduated from RHS in 2013 and was mentored there by Brown. Jimmy was the longest-tenured broadcaster at RHS as a student under Brown.
Cook, one of seven siblings, grew up around sports, thanks to his dad, the late Bob Cook, who was a Yankees baseball, Notre Dame football, Kansas City Chiefs and lifelong Butler University fan.
With his dad and older brother Bob, Jimmy’s “play-by-play career” began at age 8 by calling Butler home basketball games with a tape recorder in Section 24 of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. As Jimmy recalled, his dad pushed him to follow his dreams and also invested in his dreams. Jimmy was regarded as a 5-2 favorite to succeed.
Jimmy, as mentioned by Brown, planted his broadcasting roots at Roncalli as a student. He later majored in sports communications at Indiana University where he called men’s and women’s basketball games, hosted his own sports tv show, and worked at CBS Sports Radio in Indianapolis while pursuing his degree.
“Jimmy showed skill as a broadcaster going back to his freshman year at Roncalli and since then, he’s continued to put in the work,” Brown stated in an RHS press release. “To have an alumnus of Roncalli and the Roncalli Media Network take over as the school’s broadcast voice is a special thing. Jimmy is a talented broadcaster, who will be a great on-air representative of Roncalli.”
Returning home to Roncalli for sports broadcasts, Jimmy recalled, “Roncalli is where I learned how to be a broadcaster from one of the best.”
He continued, “Following in the footsteps of my mentor Rob Brown is an exciting opportunity that I am grateful for and can’t wait to begin. The Royals are as passionate, talented, and exciting as any program in the state. I look forward to working with RMN’s great team and providing the soundtrack to the accomplishments of Roncalli athletics.”
Jimmy brings vast on-air experience to RMN having more than 1,000 games worth across high school, college, and the NBA. He has worked with Adidas Uprising, HallPass Media, IHSAA Champions Network, CBS Sports Radio, NBA TV, Franklin College, SI-TV, and ESPN, drawing praise from ESPN college sports analyst Seth Greenberg, who stated, “He has a tremendous feel for the moment, the game and he is a pleasure to work with. He has the ability to call a game and have a conversation at the same time. He documents the game while giving the audience a feeling like they are in on the conversation.”
As Jimmy recalled, sitting in Hinkle Fieldhouse as a youngster with just a tape recorder and honing his skills that he wants fans who hear his broadcasts “feel like they have a courtside seat.”
He also works for 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan as a fill-in host and as the producer of the Dan Dakich Show.
The spring before his dad passed, he was able to see Jimmy broadcast a game on TV.
Jimmy fondly recalled, “That spirit and “Cook charm and personality” is in my heart and in the hearts of every one of my family members, so I never have to go far to catch a glimpse of the greatest man I’ve ever known.”
Jimmy and wife Haley live in Carmel with their two dogs, Judge and Riggs.
(Note: Roncalli sports information director Chris Strykowsi contributed to this article.)