- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Beano Cook, a longtime staple of the Pittsburgh sports scene and an ESPN college football studio commentator since 1986, has died. He was 81.
Cook, a 1954 University of Pittsburgh grad, began his career as a sports publicist for the school from 1956-66. He later worked with a number of organizations, including the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.
Cook was a studio commentator for ABC from 1982-85 before joining ESPN. He also worked as ABC's press director from 1966-74, and for the St. Petersburg Times newspaper, as well as the Miami Dolphins. He also worked as a publicist for CBS Sports.
His breadth of knowledge of the history of the college game earned him the moniker, the "Cardinal of College Football." Most recently, Cook and ESPN.com senior college football writer Ivan Maisel shared the microphone on a weekly podcast. Cook also chatted regularly with ESPN.com users.
"He was one of a kind," George Bodenheimer, ESPN executive chairman, said in a statement. "There never was and never will be another Beano. His combination of humor, passion, love of college football and his engaging personality left an indelible mark on the sport and touched anyone who knew him."
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