Defiance Set to Move Forward with Cox as Women’s Basketball Coach
Release courtesy of Defiance College
DEFIANCE, OH – Defiance College announced on Friday that it had hired Jessica Cox as the 12th head coach in the history of the Yellow Jacket women’s basketball program. Cox will begin her post with the Purple and Gold on May 14.
“We are pleased to welcome Jessica to Defiance and look forward to seeing her lead our women’s basketball program,” stated DC Athletics Director Jenni Morrison. “Coach Cox has spent nine of the past 11 years as either a student-athlete, or a coach at the NCAA Division III level and we expect her to be a tremendous mentor for our young women, both on and off the court.”
Cox expressed her desire to get started at Defiance by saying, “No matter what area of life, if you want something, you have to do the work. This program has student-athletes that are very capable of success and I look forward to beginning my work with them. I am extremely excited about taking over at Defiance College and absolutely cannot wait to get started.”
Cox will begin her first head coaching stint at the collegiate level as the 12th head coach in the 40-year history of the women’s basketball program at Defiance College. The Lady Jackets boast a .667 winning percentage over that span, winning 648-of-971 games and recording 33 winning seasons and 14 campaigns with 20-or-more victories since starting the program in 1971-1972.
The rich tradition of the DC women’s basketball program has been bolstered by 14 conference championships, 18 players with at least 1,000 points in their career with the Purple and Gold and nine All-Americans.
Cox will look to add to that winning culture when she takes over a Yellow Jacket roster poised to return 11-of-12 student-athletes from the 2011-2012 campaign, including All-HCAC selections Kim Comden and Erica King. DC went 11-15 overall and 9-9 against HCAC competition under interim head coach Craig McCord, en route to making its third-straight appearance in the HCAC Tournament.
McCord will remain on staff with Defiance College, returning to his role as an assistant coach for the football program, where he has served the Purple and Gold for the past eight seasons.
“I want to thank Coach McCord for his outstanding contributions to our women’s basketball program throughout the past year,” added Morrison. “Craig helped these young women through a difficult season and not only guided them to the conference tournament but saw them lead all HCAC women’s basketball programs with seven Academic All-HCAC awards this winter.”
Cox brings seven years of coaching experience with her to Defiance College. The Galena, Illinois native most recently served as the assistant coach at NCAA Division III Whitman College.
The Missionaries went 31-21 during the past two years with Cox on the staff, including a 21-11 mark within the Northwest Conference. Cox saw Whitman improve its record in each of her two years with the squad, while overseeing the strength and conditioning and recruiting efforts of the program.
Prior to moving to Walla Walla, Washington to join the WC coaching staff, Cox went 32-15 as the head coach at Waterford Mott High in Michigan. Cox guided the Corsairs to a six-win improvement in her second year, saw the team win league and district championships and was a nominee for Oakland County Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association for Michigan.
Cox got her start on the bench as an assistant coach at Augustana College, while working as the coach of the junior varsity program at the D-III institution.
“We feel that Jessica is a rising star in this profession and expect her passion for the game of basketball and her love for the student-athletes to be a perfect fit at Defiance College,” said Morrison.
Before jumping into the coaching ranks, Cox started every game of her record-setting, four-year career on the planks with the University of Dubuque. Cox was a captain of the team in each of her final two seasons and earned all-conference honors as a senior.
Cox ended her standout Division III career with Dubuque as the program’s all-time leader with 247 made three-point shots and a 34.8-percent clip from beyond the arc. Cox also left as the school’s top free-throw shooter with a crisp 80.0-percent rate, ranked third with 298 assists and fourth with 1,328 points.
“I have had a lot of great coaches in my past whom I have played for and whom I have worked for, and from them I have learned so much,” reflected Cox. “I cannot wait to share my passion and my knowledge with the team and see what I can learn from them as well.”
Cox graduated from Dubuque in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in health, wellness and recreation and earned a minor in coaching.