Don Cole, head coach of Keystone College’s men’s golf team for the past 13 seasons and a member of the Giants’ Athletics Hall of Fame, announced his retirement. Under Cole’s guidance, the Giants won five conference championships, made two appearances in the NCAA Division III Championships, and claimed the 2004 USCAA National Championship.
Cole, who was selected to Keystone College’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, helped the Giants’ men’s golf team make the transition from the junior college ranks to the NCAA Division III level while leading the program to success at both the conference and national levels.
Keystone’s golf team won the college’s first-ever national championship in 2004 after finishing first at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships a year after finishing as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Runner-Up.
After beginning competition at the NCAA Division III level, the Giants won four consecutive North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships from 2005-2008 before claiming the Colonial States Athletic Conference title in 2010, with the team earning bids to the NCAA Championships in 2008 and 2010.
Cole earned NEAC Coach of the Year honors four consecutive years from 2005-2008 after garnering PCAA Coach of the Year accolades in 2001 and 2002. Cole was also selected as the USCAA National Coach of the Year in 2004.
Cole took over the reign at Keystone after serving as the varsity golf coach at Abington Heights School District for 20 years in which he became one of the most successful coaches all-time in the Lackawanna Golf League with a record of 266 wins, 46 losses, and 8 ties. He is the only golf coach in the history of the Lackawanna Golf League to win seven PIAA District II Team Championships over three decades: 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1993, and 1994 and is also the only coach in the history of the Lackawanna Golf League to win three back-to-back PIAA District II Team Championships: 1980 and 1981, 1984 and 1985, and 1993 and 1994.
Cole also coached the Comets to 14 Northern Division Championships. During this time, he coached the team to 11 undefeated seasons. Additionally at Abington Heights, Cole coached eight individual district champions. He also coached the only player, male or female, in the history of the Lackawanna Golf League to win four consecutive PIAA District II Individual Championships. In addition, he had 28 players qualify for the PIAA State Championships.
A search for Cole’s replacement will begin immediately.