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Having to replace Mike Kuebler, Jamestown’s head baseball coach of eight seasons who resigned in September, is a tall task for Jamestown Athletic Director Kenny Edwards.
On Wednesday, Edwards announced the hiring of John Cole as the new Eagles’ new coach. Given Cole’s extensive coaching background, the hire could prove to be a home run.
“We are very excited to have John Cole join us as our new Head Baseball Coach at Jamestown High School,” said Edwards in a news release. “He brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and a passion for helping student-athletes to succeed on and off the field.”
Most recently a pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for Christopher Newport University during the 2014-15 season, Cole brings to Jamestown a coaching resume spanning 30 years.
Coaching stints for Cole include assisting coaching for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Desales University, Dartmouth University, College of William & Mary and Christopher Newport University.
Cole also served as the head coach for seven seasons at Rowan University in New Jersey before taking the head coaching position at the University of Pennsylvania for eight years.
Feeling the itch to get back into coaching after stepping away from CNU earlier in 2015, Cole applied for an opening with the James Madison University baseball team. JMU went in a different direction with their coaching search, sending Cole back to square one.
Still seeking to coach and remain in Williamsburg with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children, Cassandra, Kevin and Andrew, Cole learned of the opening at Jamestown and reached out to Edwards about the opening in October.
After a short interview process, Cole was hired and formally announced as the new head coach Wednesday morning.
“When this [position] came open, it was convenient. It’s a good school and program,” said Cole about Jamestown. “We have three children involved in sports [in Williamsburg], so it made sense.”
The Jamestown head coaching position will be Cole’s second time coaching in Williamsburg — Cole served as a hitting coach, infield coach and recruiting coordinator for William & Mary’s baseball team from 1992 to 1999 — and his first time coaching a high school team since 1986 when he coached at Southern Lehigh High School in Pennsylvania.
With a return to the high school coaching ranks, Cole hopes to use his years of experience coaching at the college level to get his new crop of players prepared for a deep postseason run.
“We have a good nucleus of returning players,” he said. “If you can prepare your team with the sound fundamentals … you’re going to be in every ballgame. We’re going to get the team prepared to handle tight ballgames in practice.”
As a head coach, Cole described himself as organized, intense and possessing a unique ability to detect and correct errors before they happen. Cole is hoping this skill set will allow him to build on the strong foundation built by Kuebler.
“I want to create a sound team with responsibility and accountability,” Cole said. “The goal is to get everybody into the system and get everybody with one heartbeat going in the same direction.”