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John Cook’s horse named Nebraska volleyball’s volunteer assistant coach

The Nebraska Volleyball Team has gained a new coach this off-season. However, the coach has never even been to a practice.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The Nebraska Volleyball Team has gained a new coach this off-season. However, the coach has never even been to a practice.

When Nebraska was on the road at Wisconsin and Purdue last season, head coach John Cook purchased a horse. Lindsay Peterson, his director of operations, found the horse in Kansas and told Cook it was going to go fast. So with the Big Ten Title on the line, Cook gained a new member to his staff.

Grazing in a quiet field south of Lincoln is Bud. He’s an 11-year-old quarter horse and Nebraska’s volunteer assistant coach.

“Bud would be a great horse, a great trail horse, great learning horse,” Cook said.

Cook got bud back in November. He’d been looking at getting a horse and Peterson, who already has horses, found Bud when she was looking for another horse.

“It just happened, and the next thing I know Bud is here at Lindsay’s place and owning horse number one,” Cook said.

“It goes down as ‘all other duties’ under my job title, but it’s one I really enjoy because I have a passion for horses and to see that passion move over to John and how he’s embraced having horses,” said Peterson.

Bud is listed on the volleyball roster and even has his own Instagram account, which gives coaching tips to the athletes.

“I had no idea it would take off that much,” Cook said. “We mainly did it for our players because they love horses and several of them come out and ride with Lindsay, and we also did it for recruits because they kept hearing about him. So we did an Instagram page and made him a little celebrity.”

Cook’s been a part of the volleyball world in Nebraska for more than 20 years. Now, Bud and he are members of the horse world.

“I’ve met all these great people and the athletes on the rodeo team just blew me away,” Cook said. “You talk about pressure and having to perform in a split second that’s rodeo, and this thing has gotten way bigger than we ever thought it would. It’s helping me connect Nebraska volleyball with the western part and the agricultural part of the state and that’s the coolest thing about all of this.”

The head coach didn’t get just one horse. In February, he got Reba, so Bud would have a friend.

Cook is hauling them to Wyoming this weekend where they’ll spend the summer. While heading to Wyoming, he connected with a University of Wyoming rodeo athlete who is able to board them overnight.

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