UPDATE: Hope getting thin in search for missing coach

Airboat searches Tittabawassee River for Bob Cole


A local community comes together to help find a missing coach.

Sixty-two year old Bob Cole of Midland County's Edenville Township was last seen Tuesday afternoon and as time ticks by so does the hope of finding him alive.

An airboat breaks the ice of the Tittabawassee River in hopes of finding the former Meridian school teacher and track coach Bob Cole.

"With the ice moving out of our way, it's certainly making things a lot easier for the divers," says Midland County Sheriff Jerry Nielsen.

While it's easier to search, it's more difficult to swallow that Cole will be found alive.

"It's looking grim, but we're all holding out hope," says Meridian High School Senior Aaron Maxwell who had Cole for shop class.

Police say Cole was outside his home walking toward his dog who had gotten away from him.

Rescue crews say Cole's tracks lead to the frigid Tittabawassee River and that there are no tracks coming out.

Those who had Coach Cole said he would often challenge them to be better than they were in the past. They say, they're putting forth that effort in finding him now.

"He would have been out here for three weeks trying to find us if it was one of us kids, so I'm prepared to be out here for him as long as possible," says Maxwell who is helping in the search.

Crews believe he could have slipped, went in the water, and possibly never came out. It's a sobering reality of the dangers of cold weather and water.

"O my gosh, it's just scary," says Rose O'Dell, who is also helping in the search. Her son was coached by Bob Cole for four years.

"He was inspirational. He could show you how to do what he knew you could do even if you doubted yourself," says Maxwell.

"I think everyone has the same attitude, we're going to do this and get this job done," says Sheriff Nielsen.

Dozens help with their presence, prayers, and participation, looking for the coach they love.

Cole was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame last October.

Rescue crews are desperately searching for a missing 62 year old man and his dog.

Bob Cole is a former teacher and current sports coach at Meridian High School.

The Midland County Sheriff reports the 62 year old man and his yellow lab went missing around 3:00 p.m. Tuesday. His wife found his truck by the river, but couldn TMt find Cole.

Authorities found tracks near the water. They say it appeared a person had slipped in and never came out. Some reports say the dog may have gone into the water, and Cole may have slipped trying to reach it, but that is just one of many theories at this point.

A Michigan State Police helicopter using infra Red scanners, SCUBA Divers, and local search teams consisting of both authorities and volunteers have been scanning the Tittabawassee River, trying to find Mr. Cole.

If anyone has any information on his whereabouts, they TMre asked to call the Midland County Sheriff at 989-839-4600.