Clayton State coach Dennis Cox has been elected to the Florida College System Activities Association Hall of Fame for his work as a junior college coach in the state. (File Photo)
MORROW — There is no question that Dennis Cox is having a distinguish coaching career as the Clayton State women’s coach.
With several Peach Belt Conference titles, and a national championship in the 2010-11 season, Cox is enjoying a stellar career.
He will soon be able to add hall of famer to his 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 March 8 at the FCSAA State Basketball Tournament being held at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.
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,” Clayton State outgoing athletic director Carl McAloose said. “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 accepting the Clayton State job in 2004, Cox served six years as the head coach at Daytona Beach Community College in Daytona Beach, 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 Beach CC.
“I’m really flattered about the honor,” Cox said. “We had a really good run in Florida. I think this was for the overall body of work that was done in Florida, and some of it has to do with the success we have had at Clayton State. I wasn’t expecting this, but I appreciate the support I received from my former colleagues in Florida.”
In addition to his six seasons at Daytona Beach, Cox served as the head coach at Valencia Community College in Orlando 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.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to coach at Clayton State,” Cox said. “(Former Clayton State AD) Mason Barfield gave me my first job at the Division II level. Florida is my home, and that’s were my roots are. To be nominated in Florida for the Hall of Fame is special to me.”