CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Latin announced on April 29 that longtime baseball coach Kim Cousar has announced his retirement at the conclusion of this season and Porter Ridge coach 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 2011-2012.
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.”
Cousar also coached football and taught physical education at Charlotte Latin.
The Hawks have struggled in recent times. This year, they went 6-11 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 was chosen out of a pool of more than 100 applicants from across the country.
He 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 as a teacher and head of the baseball program. 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.”
Cooke was a standout athlete in his own right at Independence and later at Gardner-Webb, where he earned all-Big South honors in both sports.
His name still appears in the Gardner-Webb record books in numerous categories, including most runs career runs scored (170) and most career steals (94). Cooke also ranks in the top 20 for career tackles in football. He served as a captain for both teams as a senior and was named the Gardner-Webb Male Student-Athlete of the Year that same season.
Cooke lives in Indian Trail with his wife, Angela, and their 4-year-old daughter, Emma. He will also teach physical education while at Latin.