Jacob Montgomery Cole ('16) was born to Monty and Stacey Cole in Denton, Texas, on November 17, 1993 and passed away tragically on June 1, 2021. Although he could probably have attended any college of his choosing, he had strong familial connections to the Mean Green and to Denton. With both parents, all his aunts, uncles and even a great aunt and uncle having attended North Texas, his roots and family bonds to North Texas ran deep. Having lived in Denton as a youngster, he heard many great North Texas stories and always felt at home both on campus and in town.
Cole came to North Texas in the fall of 2012 after graduating from Corsicana High School. He was near the top of his high school class of nearly 400.but made sure not to be at the top so he would not draw too much attention to himself or have to give a speech. Cole was a member of the football team that played Aledo in the State Semifinals. He had all the makings of a varsity athlete, but he was known to skip practice to work on his homework. There were also many times he would go to bed early only to wake up to an alarm to finish homework during the night then go back to sleep until morning. Although Corsicana offered many dual credit courses, Cole chose to take AP courses as he thought they would better prepare him for college success.
Cole seemed to have been well prepared to succeed in his chosen major—computer science. He was continuously on the dean's or president's list from his first semester at UNT on to graduation. He was pretty excited in his first semester every time he busted the grading curve or was the only student to score 100 on an exam. He also aced his first semester final exams, which accelerated his confidence. Cole went on to graduate magna cum laude in four years in May 2016 from the College of Engineering with his bachelor’s in computer science.
While working on his bachelor’s degree he also worked for the UNT College of Music, where he was on call to assist the faculty with computers, software and information technology. This arrangement allowed him to study while getting paid, and he thought this was great. After the first semester Cole was able put himself through college using his scholarships and on-campus job. Through his frugality and wise choices, he put money in the bank over time and graduated from UNT with a positive cash flow.
The College of Music proved to be Cole’s perfect employer as it was the perfect fusion of tech and music. He was a natural musician with a the truly enviable skill of being able to sit down at the piano or pick on the guitar and create music that sounded very good. But his first musical love was the drums—he had always wanted a set of drums. In high school, he finally got his first drum set—a very professional set with full double bass drums, multiple tom toms, bongos, high hats, crashes, the works. He would shake the house drumming from that moment on and got his sister, Macy, wound up over the noise more than once.
Cole was an avid snow skier but enjoyed the New Mexico green chile cuisine as much or more than the skiing. He was always pumped up for anything with an adrenaline rush from go-karting, dirt biking, jet skiing, trampoline flips to sky diving. Sky diving over South Padre Island was a special experience he enjoyed talking about for a long time afterwards. There was really no thrill ride he didn't want to try, and Macy was usually right there by his side sharing the adventure. The family was never sure Macy would have done these things without Cole, but she was as fearless as he was with him by her side. And they rode them all—from every kind of bungie jump, swing, slingshot, rotating gyrating spinning machines to the fastest tallest roller coasters.
Cole was a pretty amazing gamer too. No matter the type of game he would master it in short order. He got this four-wheeler stunt and racing game when he was about eight and played it into the wee hours of many a Friday and Saturday night for at least four or five years with his little brother Sam. Once Sam passed out asleep on the floor Cole would play on until 2 or 3 a.m. at times. He also loved Guitar Hero and completely wore out a Guitar Hero set. On one epic occasion he completely outclassed an older college kid challenger at Kemah Island—a memory that still brings a smile to his father’s face. Cole graduated to all sorts of more sophisticated games, reached the leader boards in no time, and maxed out many WOW accounts.
Cole was a very protective and loving big brother to his sister Macy and little brother Sam. Not many big brothers let their little brother take front seat as much as Cole did. Cole was equal parts big brother and tutor for Macy. He was always there for her when she needed help or advice on any subject. And though Cole claimed to be shy, he never seemed to have trouble making quick and solid friends who seemed to hold him in awe.
In short, Cole was one awesome, cool dude. He will be greatly missed and is irreplaceable. Cole was his father’s firstborn, sports talk buddy and fellow movie/tv show quote master. Macy and Sam, and their father, Monty, have created the Jacob Montgomery Cole Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Computer Science at the UNT Foundation to award one or more scholarships annually in perpetuity in Cole’s honor. They invite friends, family and classmates to make memorial contributions in honor of Cole to this fund.
Checks should be made out to UNT Foundation and may be mailed to: UNT Gift Administration, 1155 Union CIR, #311250, Denton, TX 76203-5017. Please designate Jacob Montgomery Cole Memorial Scholarship on the memo line.
Secure online gifts may be made through UNT’s secure online gift portal. Please select “Other” and designate Jacob Montgomery Cole Memorial Scholarship.
Donors may also want to consider that many companies will match gifts to universities made by their employees or retirees. Please contact Angus McColl, Executive Director of Development, at 940-565-2180 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance or questions.