Fascinated by baseball and basketball analysis, Cole is devoted to using statistical modeling to help professional sports teams make better strategic decisions.
Cole recently received his Masters in statistics from North Carolina State University, he is now working as a Coordinator: Trackman with USA Baseball in Durham, NC. During his time at Emory & Henry, he majored in economics. To him, the most attractive component of economics was the way it forced him to think about opportunity cost and the various cause–and–effect mechanisms that are applicable to everyday life. His profound interest in everyday economics drew him to pursue a graduate degree in statistics, which uses similar models and logic to make optimal decisions. Additionally, his love of sports and sports analysis fueled his devotion to pursuing a career in the sports industry. Cole remembers his first time watching the film and reading Michael Lewis’ Moneyball and seeing statistical analysis applied to baseball. Since then, he has attended several sports analytics conferences and spoken with analysts from teams such as the Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Indians, San Antonio Spurs, and the Atlanta Falcons. Cole wants to use his skills to help teams make better decisions, whether it’s in–game strategy, prospect evaluation, or marketing analytics. During what little free time he has, Cole enjoys playing pickup basketball, attending bible study, and going to as many NC State home games as possible.
Who to better learn from than those who have experienced what you are experiencing now. Therefore, we used this opportunity to ask Cole a few questions that you as a Senior in high school or a Freshman in college may have been wondering about yourself.
Q: Just extra work? What was the Honors Program to you?
A: It was the reason I attended Emory & Henry. At the time, the scholarship was the most attractive part, but now I realize it was much greater than that. The stipend completely paid for me to have a data analysis internship that ultimately led me to my graduate school choice. The alumni connections helped me land a job offer before I graduated, and those are both things that would not have happened without Honors.
Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of being in the Honors Program?
A: Transitions I with Dr. Lane was my most hated class Freshman year. It had nothing to do with the people or the subject...it was just more demanding than any class that I had ever taken before. By the end of the semester, I had learned a lot about myself. I’m sure it wasn’t the hardest class I took at Emory & Henry, but it gave me the confidence to challenge myself. Having that as my first college lesson set the tone very well for the rest of my time there.
Q: Was Emory & Henry your first choice of colleges? If not, what made you stay here? If so, explain why Emory & Henry seemed special enough to attend.
A: I had always wanted to go to Duke University, but I didn’t get in. I knew I didn’t want to go to a school of 20,000, and Emory & Henry was my most affordable option. Looking back, it’s easy to see that I was meant to go to Emory & Henry. The professors took an interest in me personally, and the friends I made will be friends for life. That’s exactly what you’re looking for in a college experience.
Q: How would you describe the character of the Honors Program?
A: Honors is built to make you a scholar, particularly in the liberal arts. As someone who didn’t end up in a liberal arts discipline, I found that it’s very well balanced out by tailoring your experience to your career goals. Dr. Lane is a demanding professor, but he also is willing to do anything he can to set your post–graduation life on the right track.