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Dan Cole's Conquest

Cole's efforts earned him a tryout with the National Football League's New England Patriots in 2004. When that didn't work out, Cole returned to the region and joined RPI's coaching staff as the quarterback coach.

"I get to teach a younger kid the ins and outs of the game and hopefully get them to become better players," said Cole.

Cole said working with RPI head coach Jeff King for the last four seasons has helped him develop as a coach. "It's definitely a great learning experience to learn from someone with a professional background," he said.

The job also gives Cole the opportunity to continue his playing career, since the Arena Football 2 season lasts from late March through July, and the college season doesn't begin in earnest until August.

Cole said he's hoping to guide the Conquest back to the Arena Football 2 playoffs " something the team hasn't reached since Cole was playing for RPI. What gives Cole hope is that the team had a three-game winning streak earlier this year before a three-game losing skid pushed Albany's record to 3-4 entering a Friday, May 23, home game against Manchester.

"It's a tough road to get back to that (earlier level of play), but I think we can do it," he said. "It's the little things right now that we have to work on."

Regardless of how the season turns out, Cole said he will use his time as the Albany Conquest's starting quarterback as a learning experience.

"There's always something I can learn, whether it's in a game or in a practice," he said. "I've already learned a lot this year."

Area football fans have four more opportunities to watch Dan Cole and the Albany Conquest this year " Saturday, June 7, against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; Friday, June 20, against Daytona Beach; Friday, July 18, against Manchester; and Friday, July 25, against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

All games start at 7 p.m. at Albany's Times Union Center on South Pearl Street. Tickets range from $10 for end zone seats to $35 for front row along the sidelines. For information, call 487-2000 or 1-800-30-EVENT (303-8368).""

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