Student is remembered for the lessons he taught friends

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A senior sports broadcasting major and former TCU football player known for his commitment to improve and help others died April 17; he was 21.

Reginald Cole, “Reggie,” to his friends, was born in Dallas, the only son and oldest of two children. Cole’s body was found in a grassy field in the 100 block of South East Arlington Street. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office.

Cole, a walk-on Horned Frog running back from 2017-2018, spent his time at TCU as a sports commentator. He also volunteered at HOPE Farm, an organization that works to develop the leadership skills of at-risk boys who do not have a positive male role model at home.

Timeka Gordon, the director of the of Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services and the Community Scholars program, met Cole when he was a finalist for the Community Scholarship at David W. Carter High School.

“Talking to young people and coaching young boys in football was where you could watch Reggie’s ‘masterpiece of care’ come alive,” Gordon said. “He was engaging, compassionate and thoughtful in his approach and advice to young people. He talked from his experiences, and it made him relatable.”

Cole and Gordon are pictured together the summer before his first year at TCU at Bridging the Gap, a program for incoming Community Scholars. (Photo courtesy of Timeka Gordon.)

Gordon said she misses Cole’s hugs, smile and conversations. He embraced her as a mother figure, she said, adding the most valuable lessons she learned from Cole are to keep moving and never make excuses.

Cole’s best friend, Courtnee Avery, said he taught her to take any opportunity to be better.

Avery said she had known Cole since elementary school and when she heard about his death, she went into shock.

Avery and Cole are pictured above in 2016 at the David W. Carter High School Athletic Banquet. They were both awarded athlete of the year. (Photo courtesy of Courtnee Avery.)

“The first person I called was my mom,” she said. “I stuttered over my words and as she was trying to make sense of what was happening, I pleaded for her to just listen and absorb what I was saying. My mental could not process anything. It still can’t.”

To honor his life, people drove by Cole’s high school in a parade and later released balloons, maintaining social distancing.

Gordon provided a purple graduation cap, gown and tassel, a Community Scholars Medallion, a class of 2020 Community Scholars photo and a black kente stole to Cole’s family.

“Reggie was loved by many in the community and at TCU,” Gordon said. “His legacy will live on through the seeds of care he planted in the lives of all those who knew and loved him.”