The silent leader: Cole Jordan

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: NICHOLAS TIBOLLO
On Feb. 10, Cole Jordan (#12) waits for his teammate to deliver a serve in Fanshawe's final regular season home-game against the Mohawk Mountaineers.

The men’s volleyball team has put together nothing short of an extraordinary season.

Undefeated and first in the province, this year’s squad boasts a depth and synergism that could see Fanshawe’s program earn its second Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) medal since 2016.

Each and every player brings a unique set of skills to the team that, when blended together, form an offensively and defensively balanced front with very little vulnerability anywhere on the court.

Without a doubt, what ultimately makes the team a nightmare for any opponent is its exceptional ability to cooperate and play as a solid, single unit.

One player on the roster, however, does stand out.

If ever at a home game, you may see his face on a cardboard cut-out in the crowd; his distinguishable long, curly hair tied back in a bun blown-up to the size of a beach ball.

Although he plays with little palpable emotion, his passion for the sport shines through in his effort and performance during gameplay.

He is, as head coach Patrick Johnston explained, “the silent leader” of the team.

Reserved and relentless on the court, Cole Jordan of London, Ont., leads the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) in kill percentage and points per set. The third-year carpentry student is also in the top five across several categories at the national level, including service aces per set.

“He’s been executing at a high level and on a consistent basis,” Johnston said.

Jordan was originally introduced to volleyball at a young age by his dad, in the backyard of their family home. The young athlete played under his father at John Dearness Public School where the duo won back-to-back regional championships.

The Falcons’ powerhouse scorer knew he wanted to play competitive volleyball from that point on.

Jordan continued to hone his skills in high school and as a member of the Ontario Volleyball Association. He helped lead both Oakridge Secondary to an OFSAA title and his local club to a provincial championship.

After playing two years at Niagara College, Jordan elected to join Fanshawe’s volleyball squad for the 2017/2018 season. The experienced 6’4” outside hitter has been a welcome addition to the team. “Each athlete is a bit different in what they respond to. Cole responds best to being given opportunities and carving his own path to success. He’s not an athlete that you hammer with technical [or] tactical feedback,” Johnson said.

Jordan’s teammates collectively refer to him as “Dad”, a moniker the fatherly figure enjoys but admits makes him feel “a bit old”.

Like any good parent, Jordan is able to juggle a hectic schedule. He manages to successfully complete his school work, remain in sound physical condition and fulfill his many obligations to the volleyball team.

In his spare-time, particularly in the summer, Ontario’s top offensive college volleyball player is an avid fisherman.

Jordan has two more years of eligibility and leaves open the possibility of returning to play for Fanshawe next season.

When he does decide to end his career as a player (whenever that may be), Jordan hopes to continue his involvement in the sport as a coach, “I will miss the game [too] much.”

For now, though, the team’s silent leader is focused on helping the Falcons finish the season strong and adding another gold medal to his already impressive resume.