Clayton State University women’s basketball coach Dennis Cox has captured hundreds of wins, a national championship and been named a national coach of the year. In the coming weeks, he will add another achievement to his impressive resume.
Cox has been named to the Hall of Fame in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA), which coordinates intercollegiate athletics for 28 community and state colleges in Florida. The induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Mar. 8, at the FCSAA State Basketball Tournament being held at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla.
Before becoming one of the nation’s top NCAA Division II head coaches and building Clayton State into a national power, Cox also experienced similar success in the junior college ranks in Florida.
“It is great to hear that Coach Cox is being named to the FCSAA Hall of Fame,” says Clayton State Athletic Director Carl McAloose. “Very few people can boast of the accomplishments he has had at the junior college level and now the NCAA II. He has touched many lives in the process and it is great to see he is being recognized for doing so. Clayton State University is very fortunate to have him.”
Prior to joining Clayton State in 2004, Cox served six years as the head coach at Daytona Beach Community College in Daytona, Fla., building DBCC into a powerhouse. He compiled a 147-41 record, won three Mid-Florida Conference championships, a Mid-Florida Conference Tournament championship and had a state runner-up finish at the school.
His top season at Daytona Beach came in the 2002-03 campaign when his Falcons finished fourth in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association final poll with a 29-2 record. He averaged 25 wins per season during his six years at Daytona.
Cox was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region IX Coach of the Year in 2003 and was named the Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year on three different occasions.
In addition to his six seasons at Daytona Beach, Cox served as the head coach at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla., for eight years. He became the first full-time head coach at Valencia in 1989 and compiled a 144-97 record, including four seasons with 20 or more wins and three state tournament appearances.
Cox’s overall record at the junior college level is an impressive 291-138 for a winning percentage of .678.
During his junior college tenure at both Daytona and Valencia, 44 out of his 58 sophomores graduated and most continued their basketball careers at NCAA Division I and II programs.
At Clayton State, Cox has built the Laker women’s basketball program into one of the top NCAA programs in the country. Earlier this season, he captured his 250th NCAA Division II victory, and he currently ranks among the winningest coaches at the D-II level.
Entering the 2013-14 season, the Lakers were on an unbelievable three-year run, which included a 96-6 overall record and a 52-1 mark in Peach Belt Conference play.
During that three-year span, the program won three straight Peach Belt Conference Championships, a Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship, advanced to three NCAA Division II National Tournaments, advanced to two NCAA Division II Eight Eights and won a NCAA Division II National Championship.
Cox has been Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year four times, NCAA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year three times and National Coach of the Year one time.
In his 10 years at Clayton State, Cox holds a 256-54 record (.826). His teams have won six Peach Belt Conference Championships (2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), four Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championships (2005, 2007, 2010, 2013), four NCAA Division II Regional Championships (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship. His teams have advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for nine straight seasons.
Cox earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Wellness from the University of Central Florida. He and his wife Ruth reside in Decatur, Ga.