Cole Named Athletics Director For Messiah College
Grantham, PA — Messiah College announced over the weekend that Interim Athletics Director Jack Cole has been hired full time in the position for the Falcons. The appointment concludes a fourteen-month period of interim service for Cole, moving him into permanent leadership of Messiah’s nationally recognized athletics department.
Cole was appointed Interim Athletics Director in July of 2010, in conjunction with his duties as Department Chair of Messiah’s Health and Human Performance (HHP) Department. Cole will continue to carry the responsibilities of Department Chair through the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge of leading our athletics department,” said Cole. “The last fourteen months as interim athletics director has allowed me to get to know our coaches and athletics personnel. I’m appreciative of their support, and the support of the college administration, to transition me into a permanent role.”
Cole is only the fourth athletics director at Messiah College since the mid-1970’s. He carries a vast knowledge of both the College and Falcons’ athletics, having been employed at Messiah since 1985.
“Jack has proven himself to be a strong leader who understands the role of Division III athletics at an institution like Messiah,” said Kris Hansen-Kieffer, Messiah Vice Provost and Dean of Students. “His expertise in the field of sports management and administration is sure to be a benefit to our athletics department. His commitment to marketing, advocacy, and creative thinking has already moved the athletics department forward. Additionally, he is deeply devoted to the student-athletes’ experience both in and out of the classroom.”
After arriving in Grantham, Pa., in 1985, Cole held a number of different positions including assistant men’s basketball coach (1985-1991), head men’s golf coach (1988-1993), and head men’s basketball coach (1993-1996). He was also HHP Department Chair from 1991-1993, before beginning his second stint in the position in 2003.
It was also in 2003 that he conceptualized and implemented Messiah’s Sport Management major, serving as the program’s academic director ever since. Sport Management is one of five academic majors in the HHP Department. The four others are Adventure Education, Athletic Training, Health & Exercise Science, and Health & Physical Education.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning and developing professionally in the roles that I’ve filled,” reflected Cole. “To me, it’s refreshing and exciting to experience the many areas of sports leadership, the main reason being the influence I believe sport has on our student-athletes and community. I’m excited to continue investing in both the academic and athletic aspects of our students from the role of A.D.”
Prior to arriving at Messiah College, Cole worked at Malone College, his alma mater of 1982. Across three years of service at Malone, he held positions of sports information director, assistant men’s basketball coach, and health and physical education instructor. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Malone in history and physical education, and a master’s degree from Ashland University in sports science. Cole’s master’s degree was completed in 1984.
Throughout his professional career, Cole has taught over 10 different college courses and co-authored three academic publications, helping to land three curriculum grants and another four scholarship grants during his tenure at Messiah. He remains an active member of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, among other organizations.
“We have one of the best athletics departments in the country,” said Cole. “But I also believe we have opportunities to improve our department in a number of areas. I’m excited to be a part of that future.”
Cole is married to Michelle, his wife for 30 years. The couple has three children, Ashley (25), Tyler (23) and Grant (19). They reside in Dillsburg, Pa.