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
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.