Richard "Dickie" Cole, who ran the Texas state boxing commission for over 20 years, will be officially retiring from his position on April 30. The news was announced by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
"The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is happy to have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Richard (Dickie) Cole." The TDLR said in a statement. "Dickie is retiring on April 30th of this year after 21 years in the Combative Sports program with the state of Texas! His legacy is the safe and organized combative sports events that are seen across the state.
Throughout the years, he has been recognized for his dedication to combative sports and has provided opportunities and mentoring for many young men and women to become referees, judges, promoters, and seconds. His care and concern for the sport of boxing has been a lifelong passion that will continue to influence the industry for years to come. We are proud to have worked with Dickie, and to have been recipients of his wisdom and knowledge. He will be missed but not forgotten. We wish him well and thank him for his decades of service to the state of Texas."
While the press release may say otherwise, Cole's tenure with the commission was certainly a turbulent one. During his 21 years with the commission, "Dickie" has been put on disciplinary probation and has also been reprimanded twice for unprofessionalism. He also attracted a fair bit of controversy according to MMA Junkie's Steve Marrocco, with his anti-Semitic comments regarding a UFC employee being the most infamous of his incidents and the first to lead to a reprimand. The second would take place shortly thereafter, where replied to a ZUFFA employee email with derogatory and unprofessional comments.
The incidents would not cost him his job, but he would be put on probation for three months and was forced to attend equal employment opportunity training .
Although the retirement appears to be self-inflicted, the timing is certainly coincidental. The TDLR has been scrutinized over the past few months, with a variety of complaints from athletes, pundits and fans alike, over issues such as drug policies and inappropriate conduct.
One of the main points discussed by the TDLR was "holding TDLR officials accountable for abuse of power." They would go so far as to start a website that would allow for ordinary people to offer comments and complaints regarding the commission.
Greg Alvarez, who has been a member of the TDLR team for 13 years, has been named interim Combative Sports program manager.