Timothy Cole Jr. is the author his own life, and he’s writing himself into many characters — the “skinny” teenager turned buff, the high school football star who became an emotional anchor for the Texas Longhorns football team and the college student-athlete who pursued two Moody College of Communication degrees before starting his own company.
Cole views challenges as opportunities to write more life chapters, and all his experiences add up into a fearlessness that silences adversity and activates optimism.
“We’re beings with infinite potential,” Cole said. “There’s an answer to every question, and a solution to every problem. I’m just one of those determined individuals to figure them out.”
Growing up in Brenham, Texas, he focused on school and football, quickly claiming the outdoors as his playing field. Cole started playing football at 6 years old and dreamed of college ball. His potential bloomed into tangible skills when he started on varsity as a high school sophomore.
His peers often called him “skinny,” and that drove Cole toward motivational videos online, where he learned how to develop his own training programs. Glen West, Cole’s high school coach, witnessed Cole’s transformation, which included 20 additional pounds of muscle and a powerful mindset.
“Football players have to be very disciplined,” West said. “Tim could do whatever he was asked.”
Throughout high school, Cole demonstrated maturity beyond his years, especially under pressure. West is an emotional coach, and he admits he raised his voice a time or two during practice. Instead of rebelling or shutting down, Cole responded with reassurance – a signal to his teammates that everything was under control – and focused on West’s message instead of the intense delivery.
“Sometimes you need somebody to push you because they see what you can do,” Cole said. “It’s helpful to have someone on the outside looking in, who’s says, ‘You can be this.’”
With his athletic ability and leadership aptitude, Cole earned the right to pursue his education at The University of Texas on a football scholarship. He majored in communication studies as an undergraduate, and then followed his curiosity about the psychology of advertising into the graduate program at Moody College’s Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations.
During his college years, Cole’s journey grew more arduous. However, adversity’s arrival only revealed more clearly the depth of his character.
I think you grow to challenge yourself. You don't know how to grow if you don't challenge yourself.