A former Lee University standout, who helped lead the men's basketball team to 55 wins against just 12 defeats during his two seasons as a Flame, is returning to work as an assistant coach.
Cole Rose played for Lee head coach Tommy Brown during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns. He was known as a hard-nosed defender, who loved his teammates, and never backed away from any challenge.
During his tenure, the Flames were Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) regular season and tournament champions in 2007-08. Lee advanced to the Elite Eight of the NAIA National Tournament before falling to tourney champs, Oklahoma City.
His college statistics reflect the type of player Rose was for the Flames. He was sixth in the SSAC in assists/turnover ratio, eighth in assists per game, 11th in steals, and 18th in defensive rebounds.
"Cole is a very talented coach and did a great job at Boyd-Buchanan for the past five years," noted Brown. "He is probably the smartest player I've ever coached and I'm looking forward to having him back at Lee and as a member of my staff."
Rose took over the Boyd Buchanan program and quickly turned it into one of the best teams in the Chattanooga area. In 2012-13 the Bucs were 25-8 and reached the sub-state of TSSAA play. This past season his squad posted an impressive 28-4 record and was knocked out in the first round of the TSSAA State by a powerful Memphis team.
"I'm pretty excited about returning to Lee as a coach," said Rose during a telephone conversation. "I see it as a great opportunity to not only work for a coach I played for, but help carry out my aspirations of being a college head coach someday."
"Cole understands my personality and it was a no-brainer when I got the opportunity to hire him," explained Brown. "He fits into the Lee mold and is a great teacher of the game. He'll bring us some new ideas on offense and defense, plus he already knows the style of basketball we like to play. Besides, how often do you get to hire a basketball coach who has a master's degree in English? It will not be long until he becomes a college head coach."
"I think it is going to be a good mix," injected Rose, who will officially report for work at Lee on July 1. "I'm already familiar with the coach and team. I stress defense first, just like coach Brown. He has the ability to bring great talent together, just like he did with our 2007-08 team. I'm really excited about working with this group of young, talented players he is bringing into the program."
Rose will replace Matt Stilwell, who is leaving Lee and moving to Auburn University to work on his doctoral degree. "Matt did a great job for us, but he wants to become a college professor. I suspect he'll be outstanding as a college teacher."
The third member of the staff, Ryan Ross, will continue his duties a recruiting coordinator. "Ross did an excellent job of recruiting the incoming class," Brown said. "I know coach Rose and I are excited about not only working with the prospects that Ross has recruited, but also the group of players we have returning."