Sex-crime suspect is ex-Placer High School volleyball coach

Former boys volleyball coach in jail on Lincoln allegations
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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With potential multiple victims in a disturbing molestation case out of Lincoln, police are asking for the public’s help in an investigation of a suspect now in jail who once served as Placer High School’s boys varsity volleyball coach.

A Grass Valley resident, 41-year-old Robert Eugene Cole was taken into custody April 19 on suspicion of rape involving a child under the age of 10. The Lincoln Police Department is the lead agency on the investigation because the alleged crimes took place in Lincoln.

The Placer Union High School District said that Cole was the varsity boys volleyball coach from March 2010 to October 2012.

After Cole left the Placer High coaching job, he also very briefly was hired as the coach for the Davis High boys volleyball team.

According to a Davis Enterprise report from 2013, Cole was hired by the district and then told he didn’t have the job six hours later. Two former assistant coaches were brought on as interim coaches.

Cole was described in the Enterprise article as a veteran club coach who lived in Auburn, worked as a real estate agent and also had a job at Sparkle’s Car Wash in Woodland.

The Enterprise article said Cole was a Placer High player from 1993 to 1996 and a U.S. Army veteran who served between 1998 and 2007. He was certified for volleyball coaching in 2010 and had subsequently coached with the Northern California Volleyball Club.

The Lincoln Police Department issued a statement after Cole’s arrest saying that anyone with additional information related to the case should contact 916-645-4040.

“There are often multiple victims in cases like this,” Lincoln Police stated.

Cole, who also formerly lived in Lincoln, remained in Placer County Jail on Wednesday, with bail set at $3 million. Two court appearances were scheduled on Wednesday.

After Cole’s arrest, Lincoln Police Chief Doug Lee said that the continuing investigation will be looking at the suspect’s coaching and other activities “especially as it relates to activities that would put him in frequent contact with juveniles.”