Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
The men’s basketball coaching staff has changed this season. Mitch Cole will serve as head coach for the Vikings, while Trevor Lydic will serve as the assistant coach.
Cole has a rich background in basketball.
“I started playing when I was seven years old,” Cole said. “I played all the way through high school and college.”
After playing, Cole went on to coach basketball at various levels.
Before coming to Berry, Cole was an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for two years, an assistant coach at Texas A&M University for five years and coached for 16 seasons at Birmingham Southern College, five of which he served as head coach.
After being an assistant coach for the last seven years, Cole aspired to be a head coach again. This is one of the reasons he came to Berry.
“This is a place where I can finally be a head coach at a well-thought-of high academic institution,” Cole said.
Cole said that Berry seemed to be the perfect fit for him and his family.
The relationship between the players and coaches is the biggest reason Cole enjoys being a basketball coach. He also enjoys teaching the game and the competitiveness of basketball.
“I love the thrill of competition and lessons we can learn from both winning and losing,” Cole said.
Like Cole, Lydic started his basketball journey young, getting involved with basketball camps and then playing in high school.
“Finally, when I got to college, I was a student assistant coach and then that carried over to a career,” Lydic said.
Lydic started his coaching career at Colorado State University. He later coached at Union University in Tennessee for eight years, then at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, the University of Tennessee at Martin and Valdosta State University.
Cole had a lot do with Lydic’s decision to come to Berry.
“I was one of the few recruits he had over last summer. He did an awesome job recruiting me and my wife to Berry,” Lydic said.
Lydic said that when he and his wife came to Berry, they instantly fell in love with the college and everything that it offers.
The relationships he has formed with players he has coached over the years is his favorite aspect of being a basketball coach, Lydic said.
“There aren’t many jobs out there where you can have an impact with several guys like you do as a coach. I still stay in contact with a lot of the guys I have coached,” Lydic said.
As people get older it becomes more difficult to compete, but coaching basketball still provides excitement for Lydic.
This year, there are 12 players returning and six new players for the Vikings.
“We’ll really be able to evaluate the players for the first time in mid-October,” Cole said.
Cole expects his team to compete well and play hard this season. He hopes that the Vikings will peak physically and mentally in a lot of areas.
The men’s basketball season will start on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. against Huntingdon College in The Cage Athletic Center.