Johnny Cole Changes Attitudes At Lane

By Joe Booker
Updated: October 4, 2006

Lane College DragonsTEXAS—Former Texas Southern University quarterback Johnny Cole, who was turned down by both Prairie View and Texas Southern as head coach, is showing both schools that he can put together a winner—something PVU and TSU have not done in some times.

First winning season since 1995

Cole has gotten Lane off to a 6-0 start, which is good enough to give Lane its first winning season since 1995. Cole’s first season-0-10—was not too kind. He went to work and brought in 38 transfers—mostly from junior college and 10 from 1A schools.

“We just didn’t have the personnel,” Cole said of last season’s struggle. “We got in here so late, so we didn’t know what to expect. Our season turned out to be our spring practice. The end results were 0-10.”


“Another thing is, we changed attitudes,” Cole said. “We made them cut their hair, get rid of those earrings and baggy pants.” The leader of Cole’s offense is sophomore quarterback Sherard Ellis, who played at Fort Bend Wiilowridge. Ellis has thrown for 1192 yards and 7 touchdowns—third best in the SIAC.

Ellis has two of the best wide receivers in college — Jacoby Jones and Edward Williams– as go-to- guys. Jones leads the SIAC with 35 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns. Williams has 17 catches for 217 yards, 1 TD. Sophomore RB Marcus Allen leads the team with 279 yards rushing.


Lane leads the SIAC in scoring offense with 29.7 points a game. They are second (366.0 yard per game) in pass offense and second (134.7 yards per game) in rushing offense. Their 231 yards per game passing is third best in the conference.

The Dragons are just as versatile on defense. They are third in the conference in total defense (allow 256 yards per game). Their 17 points a game allowed is second best.

Even though the Tigers are 2-0 in the conference, they have not faced Miles (3-0) and Tuskegee, who has dominated the conference.

“I keep telling my guys that the teams we have beaten haven’t beaten many people,’ said Cole. “We got plenty of work to do.”

Defense Has Been Impressive

The biggest improvement has been on defense. Last season Lane gave up 38.4 points a game. Eight new starters led by DT James cooper and DE Anthony Jones, have made the defense one of the best in the SIAC.

Big Games Ahead

This weekend they will travel to Kentucky State, where it is homecoming. Lane will host Miles October 14 and end the season at SIAC power Tuskegee November 11 on Tuskegee’s homecoming.

Regardless of the outcomes Lane graduates can smile about a winning season for the first time in 11 years.