Cole returns to alma mater to coach MV volleyball

It took more than 30 years, and a job on the other side of the globe, but Marmaton Valley High's Jamie Cole is back at her alma mater this volleyball season. Cole is the new head coach for the Wildcats, having played at MV 45 years ago.

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August 20, 2021 - 1:43 PM

Jamie Cole, who graduated from Marmaton Valley in 1976 and who coached in Kansas for five years before moving to Colorado and then Singapore, is back at her alma mater this fall to coach the Wildcat volleyball team. She’s joined by Hannah Endicott as assistant coach. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

MORAN — Who says you can’t go home again?

Just one year after her old classmate (and former Iola High girls basketball coach) Becky Carlson returned to coach at her alma mater, Marmaton Valley High’s Jamie Cole is doing the same.

Cole, along with Carlson, is a part of Marmaton Valley’s Class of 1976.

She’s returning to Moran this year to become the Wildcats’ head volleyball coach.

“They told me they had a need for a coach,” Cole said. “I thought, ‘OK, I’d love to do it.’”

Unlike Carlson, whose coaching career kept her largely in Kansas, Cole saw her path diverge a bit.

After college, she coached and taught at Elkhart five years, before moving to Colorado.

Cole then spent the next 30 years in parks and recreation services, before an even more adventurous move beckoned.

Cole moved to Singapore.

“I just decided I wanted to do something different,” she said.

There, Cole worked at an international school, in the athletic department, where she coached basketball, volleyball and became head of water play for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds.

“That’s the best job ever,” Cole chuckled. “Those kids are always excited to come to school.”

Swimming is something of a national pastime in Singapore, Cole explained, because of the Southeast Asia island nation’s tropical climate.

Cole decided to return to her native southeast Kansas earlier this year.

“My parents (Moran’s Jim and Anna Cole) are getting older, and I have lots of great-nieces and great-nephews here,” she said. “I want to spend more time with my family, and I’ve been gone for a long time.”

Marmaton Valley’s Kendall Scharff, center, serves during a recent volleyball practice. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Cole’s nephew, Gavin, Cole, coaches the Wildcat boys basketball team, and serves as an assistant coach on the football squad.

Cole is joined on the sidelines by another familiar face.

Hannah Endicott attended high school at Marmaton Valley and Iola High, graduating from IHS in 2014.

This is her first coaching experience after college.

“I thought, ‘why not give it a whirl,” Endicott said.

The MV volleyball season starts Aug. 28.

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