With NCAA Division II as well as NJCAA coaching and playing experience to her credit, Danielle Cole has returned to her native Mississippi to begin her first season as an assistant women’s basketball coach on Sharon Thompson’s staff at East Mississippi Community College.
Originally from Philadelphia and a former standout at East Central Community College, Cole returns to the Magnolia State after spending last season as an assistant women’s basketball coach on Penny Belford’s staff at Pensacola State College in Florida. While having assisted in all aspects of the Lady Pirates’ day-to-day basketball operations, Cole worked with PSC’s all-conference tandem of Brandi Washington and Kaiya Burnett this past year.
Prior to her move to Florida, Cole was reunited with her former college coach Craig Roden by working as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons at Delta State University. The two had previously worked together at the University of West Alabama. Cole capped her two-year coaching stint at Delta State, where she assisted with all daily operational responsibilities within the Lady Statesmen program, by earning her master’s degree in sport and human performance.
Cole began her coaching career by returning to her alma mater as Roden’s graduate assistant during the 2013-14 season at West Alabama. As a recipient of the NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award, she resumed work on her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies at UWA after playing the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons for the Tigers under Roden’s guidance. Cole averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest during her first season at West Alabama and improved those per-game numbers to 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds as a senior team captain.
Cole’s collegiate playing career was highlighted by helping lead West Alabama to the program’s first Gulf South Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship in school history and being named to the 2012 GSC All-Tournament team. She then capped her playing days by participating in the 2012 NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Following a standout prep career at Philadelphia High School, Cole started her college playing days at East Central Community College in Decatur. As a sophomore team captain, she was selected to the MACJC All-State First Team for head coach Billy Smith’s Lady Warriors. After averaging 15.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, Cole capped her ECCC career by playing in the 2010 MACJC Women’s Basketball All-Star Game.
Cole achieved team and individual success at Philadelphia High School under the tutelage of head coach Jason Gentry. After being a vital part of the Lady Tornadoes’ 28-3 MHSAA Class 2A State Championship team as a sophomore in 2005-06, Cole paced PHS in scoring during her junior (19.2 ppg) and senior (18.7 ppg) seasons while helping lead the team to respective records of 28-5 and 26-6. During her prep career, she participated in the 2007 Mississippi High School All-Star Game for rising seniors and the following year in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game.