Cole came to A&M after one of the most successful seasons in BSC men’s basketball history, leading the Panthers to a 23-4 overall record in 2010-11 and winning the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship with a 14-2 conference mark. Upon Cole’s departure, the Panthers held one of the nation’s longest home winning streaks, having won its last 30 games in Bill Battle Coliseum. The Panthers ended the season by winning the NCAA Division III Provisional Tournament Championship in Steubenville, Ohio. As a result of the team’s success, Cole was named D3hoops South Region Coach of the Year.
Taking over as the college’s 12th men’s head basketball coach in 2006, Cole was charged with rebuilding the program from scratch as a result of BSC’s move from NCAA Division I to Division III. He quickly built the Panther program into a contender, achieving a 13-12 record with 15 freshmen in 2007-08. Two years later, the Panthers won the SCAC East Division title with a 20-5 mark. In his last two seasons at BSC, Cole’s teams went 43-9, leading the SCAC in scoring each year.
Cole spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame Coach Duane Reboul. He was instrumental in the success of the program, which amassed over 300 wins during his tenure at BSC. In 2000, Cole assisted in the school’s transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division I. Despite recruiting and coaching with a ban on post-season play for five seasons, Cole still managed to successfully recruit and develop players who would propel BSC into immediate success in Division I. After a successful 19-9 season in 2002-2003, BSC went 20-7 in 2003-04 and won the Big South Conference Championship. That season, the Panthers led all of Division I in three-point field goal percentage, shooting an astounding 43% from the arc.
From 1996-2000, the Panthers made five consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament. Cole helped direct an offense that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage during the 96-97, 97-98, and 98-99 seasons. The Panthers continually ranked in the top five in field goal percentage, and led the nation in 1997-98. During his 16 years at BSC, Cole recruited and developed numerous All-American and All-Conference performers while achieving one of the nation’s highest graduation rates.
Before arriving at BSC in 1995, Cole received his master’s degree in education from Auburn University. While there, he worked as a graduate assistant with the basketball program under Cliff Ellis, working with the team in the areas of player development and strength and conditioning.
Prior to his stint at Auburn, Cole began his career as a volunteer assistant coach at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1992. While serving at the Hammond, La., school, Cole’s responsibilities included floor coaching, scouting opponents, and administrative duties.
Throughout his coaching career, Cole has helped grow the game in many areas. He has directed basketball camps and clinics in the United States and around the world, including Spain, Philippines, Peru, Venezuela, Germany and Latvia.
While in Birmingham, Cole created the Southern Basketball Coaching Academy, which attracted high school, college, and pro coaches from around the nation to discuss tactics and coaching philosophy. Cole has also established a Fall Coaching and Leadership Forum where coaches come together to exchange ideas on basketball, leadership and holistic development of players and programs.
A New Orleans, La., native, Cole graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1988. He played collegiately at Montana State University-Billings, where he double majored in history and education and graduated in 1992. He and his wife, Amy, have three children: daughter Laura Kate and sons Carson and Joshua.