For 13 years, Lane Cook has been an assistant football coach at Pickering High School.

For 13 years, Lane Cook has been an assistant football coach at Pickering High School. He has worked under three of the four head coaches in the history of the program. Now, he is assuming the reins of the program. Cook, 39, has been selected as the new head coach of the Pickering Red Devils, according to principal Hub Jordan. "Lane has been very loyal to Pickering and the kids really love him," Jordan said. "Lane is a very energetic person who is all about Pickering High School and the kids. I feel very good about hiring him for the job. I think he is ready and deserved the chance to be our head coach." According to Jordan, a total of 13 applications were submitted. He narrowed the list to two finalists, interviewing both of them earlier this week. Cook is a 1989 graduate of Leesville High School and he graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1994 with a degree in kinesiology. After graduation, Cook worked as a manager at a local business before owning his own business for a while. But something was missing. So he decided to work for his teacher's certification at McNeese State University and began his tenure at Pickering during the 1997-98 school year. Early in his coaching career, he worked as an assistant under then head coach Mark Anding. He also spent one year as an assistant for Jay Roy Mount, along with working with James Marcantel since 2001. When he heard of the opening earlier this month, Cook decided to apply. "This is something I've always wanted to be. I've always wanted to be a head coach," Cook said. "I've learned a lot as an assistant and I still have a lot to learn. But I felt I was ready for this challenge because of my familiarity with the kids and the community. I know them well and they know me well." Cook plans on doing some of the same things on offense, primarily using the running game to set up the passing attack. One of his first obstacles is to overcome the declining numbers in the program. Over the last few years, Pickering has regularly dressed out less than 30 players, sometimes the number being in the teens. "I think the change is going to bring some new kids to the program, just out of curiosity," Cook said. "But my goal is to help build up the numbers through our junior high program. Unlike some other schools, our junior high kids are here with us. We can pay more attention to detail with these kids and get them ready for the varsity program. "Building the program through our junior high is going to be big for us," Cook added. "If we can keep them involved and working with us, then our numbers will improve." Cook is hoping to add a few coaches to his staff in the upcoming months, provided there are teaching spots available for them.