Zac Cole begins his first season as pitching coach at the College of Central Florida. Cole enters his sixth year coaching college baseball, ninth overall, and brings a wealth of baseball experience to Central Florida having seen time as a D1 player, minor league player, D1 coach, junior college recruiting coordinator, high school coach and pro scout. Cole has seen 29 of his former players drafted by MLB teams in his coaching career.
Cole will oversee all areas of the Patriots pitching development plan along with assisting in the Pats recruiting efforts.
In addition to his role at Central Florida, Cole spends his summers managing in the historic Valley Baseball League. The Valley League is an NACSB sanctioned wood bat league that hosts players from all over the country, consisting of a forty two game schedule over June and July. Cole spent three seasons (2016-18) managing the New Market Rebels, winning 72 games during that span and capturing the 2018 Valley League Championship. In 2019, Cole moved to the Waynesboro Generals organization where he oversaw a historic season for the Generals. The 2019 team saw the winningest season in Generals history, posting a 31-11 record and capturing the Southern Division Pennant. For his efforts, Cole was named Head Coach of the South Division All-Star team and managed the Valley League showcase team that represented the league in the Southern Collegiate Showcase tournament in Cary, NC. At the conclusion of the 2019 season Cole was named the Valley League Mo Weber Coach of the Year.
Prior to Central Florida, Cole spent three plus years as the Associate Head Coach and recruiting coordinator as Andrew College: NJCAA D1 junior college in Cuthbert, GA. The Fighting Tigers pitchers staff saw an immediate boost with the arrival of Cole, lowering their team ERA and improving in many other key categories. Two of Cole's pitchers were named to the All GCAA teams during his tenure. Cole also worked with the Tigers catchers and helped oversee the development of catcher Chris Schwarzer, who would go on to win a national gold glove along with being named the NJCAA D1 national defensive player of the year. The 2017 Tigers team finished the season with the second most wins in Fighting Tigers baseball history.
Before his time in Cuthbert, Cole spent the previous two years scouting for the Baltimore Orioles and coaching the nationally recognized Next Level Baseball (NLB) 18u travel team in Tallahassee, FL. Cole’s time with Next Level Baseball was the most successful run in the history of the company and produced a plethora of talented players many of whom were selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Many more now star for some of the top college programs in the Southeast. Cole's NLB teams competed in and won many of the top travel tournaments in the country, including the Prospect Wire World Series, Prospect Wire Florida State Championship along with two consecutive 2nd place finishes in the Perfect Game BCS Championship and a 3rd place finish in the Perfect Game WWBA Championship.
Cole originally came to Tallahassee, FL in 2013 to serve as the pitching coach at national powerhouse North Florida Christian High School. Cole’s 2014 pitching staff set the school record for ERA and strikeouts in a season. Two players off that team were selected in the 2014 MLB draft, OF Matt Railey (3rd, Diamondbacks) and LHP Carson Sands (4th, Cubs). Three more seniors from that team signed Division 1 scholarships. Over his two years with the Eagles they captured a State Championship (2014) and finished runner-up (2015). The 2014 team was named the Small School National Champions by Maxpreps and finished number 4 in the overall ranking including all High Schools in the Nation. The 2016 MLB draft gave Cole his first 1st round MLB draft pick when the Texas Rangers selected NFC LHP Cole Ragans with the 30th pick.
Prior to his time in Tallahassee, Cole served as the pitching coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin (D1, Ohio Valley Conference). In Cole’s first year with UT-Martin, the pitching staff set a new program record with 346 strikeouts. In 2012, Cole oversaw a pair of the best pitchers in the league in Alec Mills and Dan Tobik. Over Cole’s two years with the Skyhawks he saw three of his pitchers drafted by MLB teams and another three more go on to play in independent leagues. On May 18th, 2016 the Kansas City Royals promoted UTM alum Alec Mills to major leagues giving Cole his 1st big leaguer.
Before entering the coaching ranks, Cole spent 4 years playing minor league baseball. Cole signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles out of college and was assigned to their Gulf Coast League squad in 2007. Collegiately , Cole played two seasons under head coach Matt Bragga at Tennessee Tech, where he was one of the Ohio Valley Conference’s top pitchers as a junior in 2006. Before enrolling at Tennessee Tech, Cole played at Palm Beach Community College, where he was a conference starter.
A Dean’s List student, Cole graduated with a degree in business administration from Tennessee Tech in 2007 and obtained his MBA from the University of Tennessee Martin in 2013. Cole resides in Lecanto, FL.