IOWA CITY, Iowa –– Dr. Kaye Cole, a licensed mental health therapist with experience working directly with student-athletes, professional athletes, and coaches in the areas of mental health and well-being, joined the University of Iowa Athletics Department staff in March via a professional work service agreement.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with Hawkeye athletics,” said Cole. “This is a full circle moment for me as I started my journey into athlete mental health as a doctoral student at the Gerdin Athletic Learning Center 17 years ago. I feel like I’m coming back home to continue doing the work that I love. I’m looking forward to working with both Iowa Athletics and the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
Cole, who earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a cognate in Sport Psychology from the UI in 2006, is the co-owner of The Cole Group, LLC – a consultation practice that addresses mental health and programming gaps in services for the athlete population through consultation and/or clinical mental health services. She also holds an adjunct lecturer appointment in the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at the University of Iowa. Cole is a practicing mental health therapist, licensed school counselor; and is a vetted clinician for the National Football League Players’ Association for active and retired NFL players and their families.
“Kaye’s background and experience is a welcome addition to our mental health team,” said Terry Noonan, assistant athletics director for sports medicine and sports performance. “Increasing resources related to mental health continues to be an important area for our student-athletes. Kaye has experience in individual and group settings, along with issues associated with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”
Cole currently serves on a number of advisory and accountability boards, including the University of Iowa’s College of Education Advisory Board for the Baker Teacher Leadership Center; the University of Iowa’s Athletic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accountability Board; Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) as National Ambassador and Advocacy Advisory Board; and as a “connector” to services for the Women of the NFL group. She has also served on leadership councils for three NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and Carolina Panthers. She is co-author of “Anti-Black Racism in Contemporary America” scheduled for release late summer, 2021.
Cole is married to 13-year former NFL defensive tackle and former Hawkeye football letterwinner and UI graduate, Colin Cole. They have three children – Karys, Colin Jr., and Cassius; and an English Bulldog – Cleopatra. Her oldest son, Drez, resides on the west coast. Cole is the sister of former Hawkeye football student-athlete and UI graduate and current Green Bay Packer Director of Pro Personnel, Richmond Williams.