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Ron Cook

Sports Journalism ∙ Blackhawk

 

 

 

 

Ron Cook’s career in sports started in his Beaver Falls backyard in the late 1960s, pretending to be Roberto Clemente. Ron played high school baseball and football just poorly enough to realize that, for him, a career in sports would involve journalism.

Ron got his first job in high school from Hall of Famer Joe Tronzo, covering high school basketball for the Beaver Falls News-Tribune. Ron graduated from Blackhawk High School in 1974 and from Northwestern University four years later. Ron remembers that one of his great challenges was putting a positive spin on Northwestern's 69-0 loss at Michigan.

Two days after graduating college, Ron began work at the Beaver County Times, under the mentorship of Sam Bechtel and fellow inductee Ed Rose. Ron did everything at the Times, from covering the Steelers and the Pirates to posting high school basketball roundups -- and he loved every minute of it.

In October 1983, Ron took a job with the Pittsburgh Press, where he briefly covered West Virginia football and the Pittsburgh Maulers before moving on to the Steelers in 1984 and 1985. He was promoted in 1986 to special assignments writer and, among other things, covered the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. While at the Press, Ron provided most of the obituary work for a special section on Steelers owner Art Rooney Sr., and published an award-winning series on alcohol in sports. Ron also toured the country in an SUV at ten miles an hour, following a Greensburg woman in the Bicycle Race Across America.

Ron moved to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in January 1989 and started writing a sports column a year later that continues to this day. Ron covered the 1992 Winter Olympics in France, the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, but his career highlights are the Penguins Stanley Cup years in 1991, 1992, and 2009, and the Steelers Super Bowl appearances in 1995, 2005, 2008, and 2010. During the run-up to the Steelers Super Bowl XL win in Detroit, Ron was given complete access to cover Jerome Bettis in his hometown.

On the radio, Ron hosted a Saturday afternoon sports talk show on KDKA-AM from 1993 to 2002, and appeared on KDKA sister station 93.7 The Fan as co-host of the "Vinnie and Cook" show. Ron currently hosts mid-day slot on 93.7 The Fan with Andrew Fillipponi.

Despite claiming to have a face for radio, Ron has frequently appeared on television, first as a recurring guest on Fox Sports Pittsburgh's SportsBeat show, and currently twice a week with Hall of Famer Bob Pompeani on the Nightly Sports Call on KDKA's sister station Pittsburgh's CW. Ron also often participates in the KDKA Sports Showdown Sunday nights at 11:35pm, and is a frequent guest on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" and the NFL Network.