MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After a successful four-year run leading the Bridgeport High School football program, John Cole is stepping down as the leader of the Indians. Connect-Bridgeport.com and @BHSIndiansRadio were first to report Monday afternoon.
Cole became the head coach at Bridgeport weeks prior to the start of the 2017 season and he posted a 43-6 overall record. He was also 9-2 in the playoffs. The Indians advanced to the semifinals in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, BHS went 13-1 and claimed the school’s tenth state championship in school history.
“When I took the job, I didn’t plan on staying in it long,” Cole said. “The reason I did was because we were in a transition period with the program. I just thought it was the right thing to do at the time for the program and the kids.”
This fall, Bridgeport posted a 7-1 mark and won their Class AAA playoff opener against Washington.
Cole has been on staff with the Indians in a variety of roles since 1997 and was the varsity line coach for a large part of his tenure, including their run of three consecutive state titles from 2013-2015. Cole also played for the legendary BHS head coach Wayne Jamison.
“I love the program. It has done a lot for me. The school system has done a lot for me. All the credit goes to the kids. I don’t feel that I won anything. Our kids worked hard and they were willing to play hard. If you don’t have that, you are not going to win many games. Throw in the fact that I had some good coaches that agreed to stay and help, and then we brought in some good coaches to round it out. That’s the reason we had success.”
Cole did not rule out a possible return to the football field in a different role in the future.
“I may come back in some capacity, as a volunteer maybe or some other position. It just depends how things shake out. I’ll think about that when it happens.”