To say that Dan Cole is the father of the Pirates is a massive understatement. Dan founded the Club in 1986 and guided it from it’s first faltering steps to an era of credibility and respect that continues within the Silver and Black today.
Dan learned his craft as a Defensive Back at the University of Texas under legendary National-Championship Coach, Darrell Royal, and it was with that type of work ethic and dedication that Dan left the Argonauts in 1985 where he was an Assistant to form the Liverpool Pirates for the 1986 competition.
During those early days, Dan was something of a jack-of-all-trades. He Coaches, administered the Club and almost single-handed, played in emergencies and became more than a mentor to his young, inexperienced squad. The early days were tough and the effort was not always reflected in the Win-Loss column, but the Pirates opponents knew that they were in for a tough day whenever they faced a Dan Cole led team.
Dan’s efforts weren’t just concentrated on the Pirates either. League records show Dan as an inaugural Board member of the League and he also spent time as an award-winning State Coach during the early years.
Work and family commitments forced Dan away from the game after the 1990 season, but thankfully for the Club, he was able to return as part of the Coaching Staff in 1994 where he focused mainly on the defence. It was during those years that the Pirate’s Defence took on a fearsome reputation as a result of the efforts of the athletes but more so, thanks to the scheme and efforts of Coach Cole.
Dan took on the Head Coaching role again for the 1998 season and had the Club at the top of the standings before work commitments intervened again. This time an eventual move interstate meant that Dan’s link to the Club would be more long-distance rather than hands on, but that didn’t mean that his love for the Pirates or the State diminished. Now living in Adelaide, Dan was a vocal supporter of the NSW Wolfpack in 2003 and a member of the Wolfpack Coaching Staff during the successful 2005 National Championship series.
Simply put, without Dan Cole there would not a Pirates Club and even though he is no longer in the day-to-day control of the Club, his discipline, enthusiasm and attention to detail is reflected in the way that the Pirates go about their business today. The successes that the Pirates enjoy today would not have been possible without the outstanding foundation laid down by Dan Cole.
As an indication of the respect in which he is held throughout the League, Dan is the only member of the Pirates to be inducted into the Gridiron NSW Hall of Fame, but more than that as far as the Pirates are concerned, he if the man behind the Silver and Black.