Teri Lajeunesse, ECU Sports Information
East Central University
The East Central University athletics department has announced the hiring of Matt Cole as the new head women’s basketball coach. Cole becomes just the fourth head coach in the program history dating back to 1956.
"There is a strong tradition of success within the ECU women's basketball program. Our search focused on candidates who embodied excellence, recognized the ability to build upon the program's momentum and had the experience to lead this program to the NCAA tournament,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Jeff Williams. “Matt Cole rose to the top of a list of highly qualified coaches. Not only has he been successful on the court, but his teams have excelled academically with a 100 percent graduation rate at NSU. Matt Cole will be an inspiring coach and educator and we are proud to welcome him to the Tiger family."
“We are excited to have coach Cole become the fourth head women’s basketball coach since 1956, when the program began,” stated ECU President John Hargrave. “We are confident he will continue the excellence in this program.”
“To come to East Central as just the fourth head coach in the history of the program is an honor,” said Matt Cole. “I look forward to the challenges ahead and plan to continue the strong tradition of the ECU women’s basketball program.”
Cole has spent the last 11 years as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Northeastern State where he helped the RiverHawks to seven NCAA Tournaments, including two Sweet 16 appearances.
“I want to thank President Hargrave, Dr. Williams and the committee for giving me the opportunity to coach this team,” added Cole.
Cole’s on court responsibilities were primarily with forwards, but he also served as the primary scout and recruiter for Northeastern State. During his tenure he has produced two All-Americans, one Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year, two Lone Star Conference Players of the Year and numerous all-conference players.
Cole was also responsible for mentoring jasmine Webb, a NSU forward who was named to the 2011 WBCA/State Farm First Team All-American team.
Prior to joining the RiverHawks staff, Cole was an assistant coach for Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan., from 2000-03. While at Cowley College the team posted an 81-14 record.
Cole received his master’s degree in collegiate services and college teaching from Northeastern State, and he also earned his bachelor’s degree in health and human performance at NSU.
Cole is married to Lolly and the couple has two children, Cael (7) and Waverly (3).