The ICC Board of Trustees accepted his retirement Thursday night, as well as selection of Mike Eaton as new president effective July 1.
Eaton is a former athletics director and is Cole's assistant to the president.
"I am excited to share great news with the Itawamba Community College family and friends everywhere," Cole said in an email to employees Friday. "Please join me in congratulating and thanking Mr. Eaton for accepting this opportunity, challenge, and responsibility.
"He is the right person at the right time to lead the college. He is a proven educational leader who possesses a contagious, optimistic outlook on life."
Cole began his education career 44 years ago as a teacher in the South Panola School District, where later he became its superintendent.
He became ICC's president in 1993.
Read more in Saturday's NEMS Daily Journal.