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Blugold Hall of Fame
Jess Cole

Jess Cole quarterbacked the Blugolds to a Wisconsin State University Conference championship in 1983 after a much-publicized transfer from the University of Wisconsin where the Mondovi native started for two years and led the Badgers to their first bowl game in 20 years.

During his two seasons directing Link Walker’s run-oriented offense, Cole led the Blugolds to a 16-5 overall mark and a 12-4 conference record.  He accounted for 40 touchdowns during the two campaigns, rushing for 15 and passing for 25.  During his Blugold career, he completed 244 of 473 passes for 3,463 yards and amassed 4,078 yards of total offense.  Despite playing just two seasons, Cole still ranks eighth in career passing yards and TD passes.

Cole was the All-Conference quarterback in 1983 and a Blugold team captain in 1984.  For his 1983 performance against UW-River Falls, Cole was tabbed the NAIA National Player of the Week.

Cole received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree in 1985 and has spent the past 30 years with Kraft Foods (now known as The Kraft Heinz Company), serving in nine different positions within six geographic locations--Kennewick, Washington; Tucson, Arizona; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Missoula, Montana and Minneapolis, MN.  He returned to the Midwest in 2000 and now serves as a Customer Category Manager III in the Twin Cities office.

Cole has won numerous awards with the company including an ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) Award in 2007, multiple Quarterly ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) Awards and 11 sales council awards which is an award based on annual business volume and divisional sales achievement.

Cole and his wife Elizabeth are parents of three children:  Ashley, 25; Lyndsay, 21; and Dylan, 20.  Athletics has always been a part of Cole’s life and he encouraged his children to participate in activities as well, whether that was via sports or dance.  Cole spent many years volunteering with the Prior Lake Athletics for Youth Association--coaching football five years; boys basketball four years; girls basketball two years; and softball four years.

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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Athletics • McPhee 208 • Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Phone: (715) 836-3062
Questions/Comments: UW-Eau Claire Sports Information