John Kent Cooke Profile
Source: The Washington Redskins
I'm amazed at just how much John Kent Cooke does behind the scenes to ensure this organization runs smoothly," says the Head Coach Norv Turner. General Manager Charley Casserly adds, "I don't know how we could operate this organization without John Kent Cooke's experience."
The Skins off-the-field accomplishments since Mr. Cooke assumed administration of the team in 1981 rival the eight playoff appearances, four NFC championships, five NFC East division titles, and the four Super Bowl appearances.
The most vivid example of his leadership is Redskin Park, which became the headquarters of the team in August of 1992. Mr. Cooke coordinated the design and construction of the 161-acre state-of-the-art training complex, which is considered at the top of NFL training facilities.
The team's saturation of the radio and television markets in the metropolitan Washington area is another testament to Mr. Cooke's marketing and negotiating ability. An innovator in the telecasts of preseason scrimmages, the Redskins preseason television contract with WJLA, renewed in 1995, ranks among the most attractive in the NFL.
In March of 1995, Mr. Cooke negotiated a three-year radio contract with flagship station, WJFK-FM, which broadcasts games in stereo enhancing the Redskins radio network, traditionally one of the largest in the NFL with over 90 stations stretching from Maine to South Carolina.
Mr. Cooke represents the Redskins at the National Football League meetings. The NFL recognized his ability when Mr. Cooke was asked to serve on the Special Commissioner Committee selecting the current Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue. In turn, Tagliabue tabbed Mr. Cooke five years ago for assistance, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Management Council, in negotiating a new player union contract. After countless hours of works, those efforts came to fruition in 1992 with the new agreement between the League and the NFL Players Association.
Given his varied and extensive background, Mr. Cooke's management success with the Redskins is understandable. He attended Waterloo College in Canada, majoring in English and journalism. In 1959, he came a trainee director/producer with Associated Television in England, and worked in Los Angeles a year later in the production department of QM Productions, a Hollywood television production company, and subsequently American Cablevision Company, a cable television company.
In 1965, Mr. Cooke became the Vice President of Advertising, Sales and Promotions for all sports and entertainment events at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, the home of the NBA Lakers and NHL Kings.
Mr. Cooke relaxes away from professional sports with his wife, Rita, sailing their 42-foot sloop "Que2" on the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Cooke has two sons, John, Redskins' Director of Stadium Operations and Club Promotions, and Thomas, graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Ca., and a photographer for NRG Studios in California.