BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – After four seasons in charge, and a total of 24 years with the Bridgeport football program, John Cole has decided to resign from his position as head coach, as confirmed to 12 Sports Monday evening.
Cole, who led the Indians to a Double-A state title in 2019, achieved a record of 43-6 in his four seasons in charge of the Indians.
Cole notified his team of his decision Monday afternoon.
“When I decided to do this, I knew I wasn’t going to do it very long,” Cole said about taking over as head coach four seasons ago. “After last year I knew this was going to be my last year. … I knew we were entering into Triple-A and I wanted to coach this year.”
Cole and company went 8-1 in 2020, including a win over Washington in the first round of the Triple-A playoffs.
Bridgeport advanced past Martinsburg in the second round due to forfeit, but had its season ultimately stopped the following week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cole extended the Indians’ streaks to 28 straight years of making the playoffs, and ten consecutive years of qualifying for the state semi-finals.
Despite all the success, Cole looks at his players as the thing he’s most proud of from his tenure.
The only reason it worked out was because the kids worked hard and they played hard. That was the gratifying part,” said Cole.
Cole is regarded as one of the best line coaches around the state in high school football, and has helped a number of Bridgeport players receive scholarships to continue their football careers at the collegiate level.
“He was a once in a lifetime coach. He really cared for his players. I mean, he would ride you day in and day out but because he wanted the best for you. I’m happy I got the opportunity to play under him and will always remember it,” said senior standout Devin Hill in a message to 12 Sports.
Other former players reacted to the news by tweeting the ‘Goat” emoji.
Cole also played for the Indians under head coach Wayne Jamison.
As a coach, he has been part of well over 200 wins and 5 state titles.
When asked about what he plans to do in the future, Cole said there’s a possibility he could return to the Indians program, but only if that’s what the next head coach wants.