Cole Named Associate Head Coach

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Coaching veteran Mitch Cole has been hired as the Samford men’s basketball program’s new associate head coach, Head Coach Bucky McMillan announced Friday.
 
“We are elated to have Coach Mitch Cole join our staff,” McMillan said. “I’ve known Coach Cole personally for over 25 years. He is a person of tremendous character and will fit the values and mission of our great university.”
 
Cole comes to Samford after serving as the head coach at Berry College for the last three seasons. In his time at Berry, Cole posted a record of 51-17. In the 2020-21 season, Cole led the Vikings to both the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Regular Season and Tournament titles. For his efforts, Cole was named 2021 SAA Coach of the Year. The 2021 Vikings also broke onto the national scene, finishing the season ranked No. 11 in the last NCAA Division III poll. 
 
“Coach Cole has excelled at every level of coaching,” McMillan said. “As a head coach and assistant coach, he is a proven winner and is highly respected in the basketball community. He is one of the best player developers and offensive minds in the game and will make an instant impact on our program.”
 
Cole came to Berry after serving two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He spent the previous five seasons on the staff at Texas A&M and was formerly the head coach at Birmingham-Southern College.
 
“Our organization demands loyalty, consistency, hard work and unselfishness from all of our personnel,” McMillan said. “Coupled with great talent and character, Coach Cole checks and exceeds every box we are looking for in a hire. We are glad to bring Coach Cole back to Birmingham.”
 
In Cole’s time at Texas A&M, the Aggies won 49 games over two seasons, including a program-record 28 in 2015-16. The Aggies climbed as high as No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and USA TODAY Coaches Poll, achieving the highest ranking in school history.
 
Texas A&M went on to win the regular-season Southeastern Conference Championship in 2015-16 to earn its first league title since 1986. The Aggies reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament to cap one of the best seasons in program history.
 
Cole came to A&M after one of the most successful seasons in Birmingham-Southern men’s basketball history, leading the Panthers to a 23-4 overall record in 2010-11 and winning the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship with a 14-2 conference mark. The Panthers ended the season by winning the NCAA Division III Provisional Tournament Championship. Cole earned D3hoops.com South Region Coach of the Year honors at the conclusion of the year.
 
Taking over as BSC’s 12th head men’s basketball in 2006, Cole was tasked with rebuilding the program from scratch as a result of BSC’s move from NCAA Division I to Division III. He quickly built the Panthers into a contender, achieving a 13-12 record with 15 freshmen in 2007-08. Two years later, the Panthers went 20-5 and won the SCAC East Division title. 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 at BSC under then head coach Duane Reboul, who is currently Samford’s special assistant to the head coach, prior to taking over as head coach of the Panthers. He was instrumental in the success of a program that amassed over 300 wins during his tenure at BSC.
 
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. Cole went on to earn his master’s in education from Auburn while working as a graduate assistant with the basketball team.
 
Cole and his wife, Amy, have three children: daughter Laura Kate and sons Carson and Joshua.
 
 
 

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