Cory Cole

Cory Cole began his tenure as the eighth men’s basketball head coach in Oklahoma Christian history on April 6, 2016, but he’s been an Eagle for more than 25 years.

Cole, 44, is considered one of one of OC basketball’s all-time greats, having earned induction into the OC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. A former player for, and a protégé of, longtime OC men’s coach Dan Hays, Cole also spent 10 seasons as an assistant under longtime OC women’s coach Stephanie Findley.

He went to OC after spending seven seasons at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, where he served as the associate head coach for GCU's women's program, playing a key role in its transition from NCAA Division II into Division I.

Known for his toughness, heart and magnetic personality as a player, Cole developed into one of the best in the NAIA during his playing career with the Eagles from 1990 to 1994. The 1994 Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year earned first-team All-America honors that season, one year after making the NAIA All-America third-team list.

He finished his career as OC's leading career scorer with 1,916 points and he still ranks fourth on that list. Perhaps more amazing is that the 6-foot-3 Cole set the still-standing OC career record for rebounds with 1,322. No other OC player has come within 200 rebounds of that mark.

While at OC, he was a three-time All-SAC first-team selection in 1992, 1993 and 1994, a NAIA District 9 All-District pick in 1993 and helped lead the Eagles to a NAIA national tournament berth in 1994, the program’s first since the early 1980s.

After his collegiate career ended, Cole played professionally in England for the Thames Valley Tigers during the 1995-96 season and was named as a Budweiser League All-Star after averaging 21.3 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game and leading his team to the second round of the playoffs.

He signed a two-year deal to remain with the club, but opted out when the opportunity arose to join the OC coaching ranks as an assistant. He spent the 1996-97 season working for Hays, then the next 10 seasons on Findley’s staff.

During Cole's tenure as an assistant, the Lady Eagles advanced to eight straight NAIA national tournaments, reaching the round of 16 five times and the quarterfinals in 2003. Cole coached 17 NAIA All-Americans and 22 players who earned academic all-conference honors.

Cole started in 2009 at Grand Canyon, working with head coach Trent May to build GCU into a NCAA Division II power. Cole's primary duties included serving as recruiting and defensive coordinator, as well as player development and scouting of opponents.

In the 2011-12 season, the 'Lopes were the Division II statistical champion for scoring defense. In its final season in Division II, GCU gave up just 55.0 points per game and was ranked No. 16 nationally in that category. During the 2010-11 season, GCU allowed a conference-low 57.5 points per game, ranking No. 34 out of 294 schools in the nation.

In the program's first transition season into Division I in 2013-14, GCU led the Western Athletic Conference in scoring defense at 60.1 points per game and added a second consecutive defensive title by giving up only 58.7 points per game in 2014-15. In the 2015-16 season, Grand Canyon went 16-14 overall and 8-6 in the WAC, surrendering an average of only 59.9 points per game, and received a berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational postseason tournament.

Before his arrival as a player at OC, Cole grew up in Norman, where he played on a Norman High School team that went undefeated in winning the championship in the state's highest class in 1990. His coach at NHS, Tony Robinson, was a former assistant coach under Hays.

Cole and his wife, Cristi (Peltier) – a former OC soccer player – have two daughters, Crislyn and Caylor, and one son, Caison.

Head Men's Coach
Oklahoma Christian University