Cole Dewey, part of an Indian Hills coaching staff that helped lead the Warriors to more than 90 victories the last three years, is leaving to become the new head basketball coach at Otero Junior College in LaJunta, Colorado.
Dewey came to Indian Hills when current head coach Hank Plona was hired in 2015, after the two were assistants on the same staff at South Plains (Texas) College for a year. Since then, the Warriors have captured three consecutive conference regular-season and postseason titles and have made three appearances in the NJCAA national tournament, while compiling a 91-11 record.
At Otero, Dewey will take over a team that also made a national tourney trip this past season when the Rattlers finished 29-5, losing a one-point game at Hutch.
He is excited to “hit the ground running” in his new position. “I think change helps everyone grow as a person,” Dewey said. “I have poured my heart into Indian Hills Community College the last three years of my life and I felt like it was time for me to take on a new challenge.”
The first-time head coach has been involved in every aspect of the IHCC program and it’s that experience he feels will be an asset at Otero. “I think as an assistant coach in this profession it’s everyone’s dream to eventually become a head coach and get to run your own program,” Dewey said. “I have had the opportunity to learn under some of the best coaches in the business, including three of the best junior college coaches. I think the last three years at Indian Hills have taught me a lot. I can’t thank coach Plona enough for the opportunity he gave me, as well as pushing me every day to always try and be better than I was the day before.”
Before his stint at South Plains, Dewey coached two years at Garden City (Kansas) CC and was a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Campbell University, an NCAA Division I school in Buies Creek, North Carolina. During his playing career at Campbell, Dewey helped the Camels to 45 wins in three years and a conference regular season championship.
“What I’ll remember the most about my three years here at Indian Hills will be the relationships I have built with the people at the college and in the community,” Dewey explained. “What we’ve been able to accomplish wouldn’t have been possible without the help and teamwork of everyone on campus. Indian Hills is an extremely special place and I wish nothing but the best for coach Plona, coach Schmidt and the rest of Warrior Nation.”
Dewey replaces Brendan O’Connor as the head coach at Otero, which plays in NJCAA Region IX.