CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Latin announced April 29 that longtime baseball coach Kim Cousar has announced his retirement and Daniel Cooke has been named his successor.
Cousar has been a head baseball coach for 34 years and has led the Latin baseball program since 2011-12.
In his career, Cousar has coached nearly 100 players who have played collegiately and nine players who have signed professional contracts.
With 460 career wins and a 2016 induction into the North Carolina Baseball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame, Cousar said his time had come.
“The Latin community is special because it really believes in the core values the school established long ago and has never strayed from them,” Cousar said. “To be a part of it has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful that I had such an opportunity.”
The Hawks have struggled in recent times. This year, they went 6-13 and the team hasn’t produced a winning season since at least 2008 but Cooke has a history of turning programs around.
“Daniel’s outstanding track record in building successful programs with enthusiastic leadership and stellar character made him rise to the top of the candidate pool,” Charlotte Latin athletic director David Gatoux said.
Cooke comes to Charlotte Latin from Porter Ridge, where he is in his first season with the Pirates. The bulk of Cooke’s coaching career was at Independence where he spent six seasons. Cooke’s teams won conference championships in 2014 and 2016, earning him coach of the year accolades.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Charlotte Latin and start this new chapter in my life,” Cooke said. “It’s an honor to follow a hall of fame coach like coach Cousar and take over the baseball program. My biggest commitment is to develop student-athletes both on and off the field, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Finanger to lead UFCA girls hoops
Veteran coach Lori Finanger has been named the new girls basketball coach at United Faith Christian Academy, Falcon athletic director Josh Coley recently announced.
Finanger has vast experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels.
She’s been the head coach at St. Catherine University, DePauw University and at Maryville University, as well as serving as an assistant at the University of Minnesota.
Locally, Finanger has served as an assistant coach at Charlotte Latin and at Ardrey Kell. She was also head coach at Grace Academy.
In addition, Finanger has served as director of youth basketball camps and clinics for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.
At United Faith, Finanger will face a program rebuild.
The Falcons were shown to have gone 2-12 during the 2013-14 season according to records kept on Maxpreps.com, but didn’t field a team again until the 2017-18 season, when current Charlotte Christian coach Tony Busby led the Falcons to a 10-13 record.
Last year, there wasn’t enough interest once again but Finanger is hoping to turn that around and help rebuild the program.
Finanger has two sons and is married to Dan Finanger, the head track and field coach at Belmont Abbey.