From his days as a high school coach to his many years as an athletic director, Melvin Crook has devoted his life to improving the high school athletic experience for student-athletes. Starting in Cedartown where he began the school’s first wrestling program in 1968, Coach Crook has always been able to see the big picture. After Cedartown, Crook spent 5 years building one of the finest wrestling programs in the state at Marietta High School. In 1977, Coach Crook began his dual role of coach and athletic director at Lithia Springs High School.
While at Lithia Springs, Melvin served as region secretary for 12 years. He was also a member of the group of athletic administrators who started the Georgia Athletic Directors Association. In 1990, Crook served as the President of the GADA.
In 1986, Melvin was promoted from Athletic Director of Lithia Springs High School to the position of athletic director of the Douglas County School System. During his tenure at Douglas County, Crook was involved in the addition of football and track facilities at Lithia Springs High School, the creation of Alexander and Chapel Hill High Schools, and the establishment of softball as a sport in Douglas County.
In the 36 years that he served in education, Coach Crook considers the year that he spent as president of the GADA as one of the highlights of his career. He considers the establishment of the statewide awards program for all classifications as particularly special.