STILLWATER — Dave Cook has stepped down as Stillwater's varsity boys' basketball coach after a successful run that spanned 17 seasons and included a state title game appearance in 2006.
His successor, Bruce Lilac, won a New York basketball championship while playing for the Warriors in 1988.
Cook is currently in his third season as the offensive coordinator for Stillwater's varsity football team and plans to continue in that role beyond this season.
"Going from August to March is a long time," Cook said. "The time was right for me. I have no regrets. The people of Stillwater have been wonderful. Every kid I had played hard. It was a tremendous experience."
Cook's teams won 238 games, 26 of those victories coming in the 2005-2006 season that culminated in a state Class C semifinal win over Southold before a loss the next day against Campbell-Savona.
"That state runner-up team went 26-2," Cook said. "We lost to Glens Falls and Jimmer Fredette (in a Christmas tournament), and to Campbell-Savona."
That team, led by the backcourt tandem of Cody Daigle and David Alston, won one of Cook's three Wasaren League titles. It later beat Mayfield, Greenwich and Corinth for Section II Class CC title, topped Cambridge in the area Class CC-C playoff, and knocked off Brushton-Moira and Ticonderoga in the state regionals.
Cook had other Section II finalists in 2007, 2009 and 2017. His 2007 edition went to double overtime with Schenectady Christian School in the Class CC title game.
"The cupboard is not bare," Cook said. "We've got the whole team back that won 15 games."
The team also has a new head coach that the players are quite familiar with, in Lilac.
"The program is in good hands," Cook said. "Bruce has been helping me for 17 years, and he's the best. The kids are used to Bruce. They're comfortable with Bruce."
Lilac has two children in the Stillwater school district, and served as Cook's assistant in all but the two years they were born.
"I'm a true blue Stillwater guy. I grew up there and still live there," said Lilac, who works in the telecommunications field. "This is a great opportunity for me. This is a dream come true."
Lilac doesn't plan to make major changes with the Stillwater varsity.
"The last few years we've been very offensive-minded with a solid base of defense," he said. "I'm going to stay with our philosophy. We've had success with it."
Lilac was the first guy off the bench his sophomore year when Stillwater won its state Class C championship in 1988, and he went on to become a Wasaren League standout. His uncle, Mike Lilac, was the head coach of that title team, and his father, Butch Lilac, was the school's junior varsity basketball coach at that time.
Butch Lilac led Stillwater to a state Class C baseball championship in 1998.