NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press Release)– Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball coach Kyle Keller finalized his coaching staff for 2016-17 with the hiring of Jeremy Cox, who brings 25 years of head and assistant coaching experience with him to Nacogdoches and will serve as the Lumberjacks’ assistant head coach.
Most recently, Cox called Hattiesburg, Miss., home during a two-year stint as an assistant on head coach Doc Sadler’s staff at Southern Mississippi, but has been one of the catalysts of success at each of his coaching stops.
“I’ve known Jeremy for almost 20 years from when we worked together back in the Southland Conference at UTSA,” Keller said. “Being fortunate enough to bring another quality person like Jeremy only puts an exclamation point on what I feel is such a diverse and talented staff.
“He is a man who has really done it all in the coaching realm - won at a high level, recruited and coached NBA players, been to the Sweet 16 and won a national championship. Beyond that, he has a tremendous investment in the players both on the court and in the classroom.”
With his appointment to the SFA staff, Cox returns east Texas where he made the second stop of his college basketball coaching career in 1992 by serving as an assistant at Paris Junior College. Schools in the Big 12, SEC, Big East and Big Ten have all benefitted from the service of Cox who has coached 14 student-athletes who have ended up in the NBA.
“Most of all I’m excited about the opportunity to work with coach Keller again,” Cox stated. “This is an unbelievable time to be at Stephen F. Austin due to the commitment, excitement and enthusiasm of the administration, fans and student-athletes to increase the profile of this program both in Texas and around the nation.”
Prior to his stay in Hattiesburg, Cox made his latest appearance as a junior college head coach by taking the reins at the College of Southern Idaho in 2013-14. With Cox in the center seat, the Golden Eagles maintained their position as one of the premier junior college programs in the nation, finishing the season with a 27-5 mark, a Scenic West Athletic Conference championship and a runner-up finish in the Region 18 Tournament. For his efforts, Cox took home the Region 18 Coach of the Year award.
The one-year appearance at the College of Southern Idaho broke up a seven-year stretch in which Cox was an assistant coach for Texas A&M (2006-07), Kentucky (2007-09), South Florida (2009-11), Nebraska (2011-12) and Texas Tech (2012-13).
His two years at USF were highlighted by the program's first two wins in the Big East Tournament, including a 16-point comeback against Villanova in 2011. In his first year at the school, Cox assisted the Bulls to USF's third 20-win season with a 20-13 record and the school's first postseason appearance since 2002 (NIT). The Bulls won a school-record nine Big East contests and were led by first-round draft pick Dominique Jones, who earned honorable-mention All-America honors.
Jones, who was picked by Dallas with the 25th pick, after winning the Big East scoring title as a junior, was one of two players coached by Cox selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. He joined Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson, who was the No. 14 overall selection by the Houston Rockets.
Prior to coaching at USF, Cox spent two years at the University of Kentucky under then head coach Billy Gillispie, helping the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA tournament in 2008 and the NIT quarterfinals in 2009. In his two seasons as an assistant coach at Kentucky, the Wildcats posted 40 overall wins and a 12-4 conference record in 2007-08. That same season the Wildcats earned their 17th-straight berth into the NCAA tournament.
Cox was added to the Kentucky staff after serving under Gillispie as an assistant coach at Texas A&M in 2006-07, where he helped lead the Aggies to a spot in the Sweet 16 and a school-best final ranking of ninth in both the Associated Press and Coaches' polls. That season, the Aggies finished second in the Big 12 with a 13-3 record and were led by Acie Law, who earned consensus first-team All-America honors and was a first-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Cox cut his teeth as a collegiate head coach at North Dakota State College of Science in 1997-98 before heading to Garden City College (Kan.) from 1998-02 to serve in the same capacity for the Broncbusters. Following his time in Kansas, Cox moved on to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith where he began his association with Sadler by signing on as an assistant on Sadler’s staff for one season before taking over as the head coach of the program from 2003-06.
With Cox leading the way, the Lions captured the 2006 National Junior College Championship and saw Cox secure the title of NJCAA National Coach of the Year. He led the Lions to an 85-15 record, three consecutive 20-win seasons and two Bi-State Conference East Division Championships.
In the 2006 season, UA-Fort Smith was the unanimous preseason No. 1-ranked team in the nation for the first time in recent history and won its first NJCAA Region II championship since 2002 and its first national championship since 1981.
All told, Cox’s head coaching record stands at an impressive 224-68 through the course of nine seasons in the junior college ranks.
Hailing from Wyoming, Cox began his coaching journey at the University of Wyoming where he served as a graduate assistant during the 1991-92 season.
Cox secured his undergraduate degree from Mesa State College – now Colorado Mesa University – in 1991 before obtaining his master’s degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy (Ala.) in 1999. He and his wife, Cindy, have two children – Austin and Kaili.