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OC head basketball coach Cory Cole brings skills, talents to campus

In an upper level journalism class, 13 students featured faculty and staff members for a personality profile assignment. The students were not allowed to interview the faculty or staff member, but were instructed to interview their friends, family and co-workers. 

Cory Cole returned to Oklahoma Christian University this school year to carry on his basketball legacy, this time under a different title.

Cole spent the seven seasons prior to the 2016-2017 season as an associate head coach for the women’s basketball teams at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. During his time at GCU, Cole led the Antelopes to a 145-62 record.

Cole played at Oklahoma Christian under his predecessor, Dan Hays, from 1990 to 1994 where he was named 1994 Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year and earned first-team All-America honors. He holds the school record for rebounds by a single player at 1,322. Cole was inducted into the Oklahoma Christian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

After his college career, Cole spent a year in England playing for the Thames Valley Tigers, a professional Euro-league team before returning to the states. Cole spent the next 10 years, 1997-2007, as head assistant to Stephanie Findley and the recruiting coordinator for the Oklahoma Christian women’s basketball team. During his time as assistant, the Lady Eagles made an appearance in eight consecutive NAIA tournaments.

Long-time friend and Grand Canyon Associate Head Coach Trent May said Cole invests time in serving others off the basketball court.

“Cory might have a mind for the game of basketball, but he spent a lot of time serving people,” May said. “His heart is much bigger than his head and coaching with such a God-loving man was truly an honor.”

Elzie Clark said Cole sees potential in people he meets and encourages them to be the best they can be.

“Cory is one of the greatest men I have ever met,” Clark said. “He is someone who refuses to let anyone be average or fail. He will check on you no matter your circumstance just to make sure you’re doing alright. Even if he hasn’t talked to you in months, he still finds ways to make you feel loved. He is the best kind of person you will ever meet.”

Cory, his wife, Christi, and their three kids —daughters Crislyn and Caylor and son Caison, moved to Edmond, OK, upon his acceptance of the head coaching job at Oklahoma Christian.

Cristi said above all, Cole prioritizes faith and family.

“Both Cory’s love for God and our family are big influences on every decision he makes,” Cristi said. “He leads and loves our family and that leadership shines through into every aspect of his life. That is who Cory is — a charismatic, fun, loyal and honest man.”

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  1. May 3, 2017

    As Associate Head Coach, he helped the Pirates earn its first top-50 signing class in program history in 2015 according to the Dan Olson Basketball Report.

  2. June 12, 2017

    Robert Sprague and Cecil Hankins will be among five inductees into the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame during a luncheon at 11 a.m.

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