CONCORDIA, Kansas — Cloud County Community College welcomed the newest member of the athletic department to campus this week in Cody Cole, who was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 30 as Assistant Coach for the first-year T-Birds wrestling program.
Though the Cloud County program is in its infancy, Cole said it was the commitment to the sport that immediately caught his attention during the hiring process.
"I felt like there was a lot more of a buy-in here. Cloud County wanted to have a wrestling program. It wasn't going to just be a place for athletes to go and you bring in as many as you can," Cole said. "I think Cloud County wants to be successful at wrestling and that is really exciting for me and my family. That's what I'm excited about the most with this being a first-year program. There's that intensity feeling right away that we want to be good, not mediocre."
Cole is a native of Brush, Colorado. He and his wife Nikki, and two-year-old son Easton, come to Concordia after Cole spent three years as a high school coach in the Greeley, Colorado area at University High School (2014-16) and Platte Valley High School (2016-17).
During his two years at University, Cole helped rebuild a Bulldogs program that sent three wrestlers to state tournament in 2014-15 with two place winners. It was the first time in over a decade that the University program had two wrestlers place at the same state tournament.
Success continued during his one-year stint at Platte Valley as Cole coached eight state qualifiers, four of which were place winners en route to a six-place team finish.
Cole is a 2013 graduate from Western State Colorado University (Gunnison, CO.), earning a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He is currently receiving his master's in Special Education through Grand Canyon University.
Cole spent five years with the Mountaineers. He redshirted his freshman season and was later granted a medical hardship, but would go on to be a three-time letter winner, a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Super Region 4 qualifier, and member of the Western State's RMAC championship team in 2009.
It was there in Gunnison where Cole met friend, former teammate and his new co-worker; Cloud County head wrestling coach, Chris Freije. The two trained together during their redshirt seasons, quickly developing a rapport and similar views on the sport.
"Coming from the same program, we have similar coaching philosophies," Freije said. "The big thing with Cody is he comes from a wrestling family. He's the son of a former coach and having that experience is invaluable. He lives and breathes the sport and the guys we're building our program around are that way."
Cole will hit the ground running as the inaugural Thunderbird Wrestling Camps begin this Saturday. He'll also dive right in to recruiting efforts as the T-Birds look to add to a freshman class that currently features 18 signees and six walk-ons.
"We have a great freshman class. There is a lot of talent coming in," Cole said. "Keeping up with these kids, getting to know them and building my relationships with them is going to be huge for me. I'm kind of playing catch up, but I think camp will help a lot there since we have a lot of the guys on campus for that."