David Cox was named the 20th head coach in Rhode Island men's basketball history on Wednesday, April 4.
The appointment came after Cox spent four seasons as an assistant coach on Dan Hurley's staff with the Rams. The final two of those seasons were spent as the team's associate head coach. Cox joined the Rhody staff in May, 2014 after spending the previous four seasons as an associate head coach at Rutgers.
"This is an important transition period for our basketball program, and we did our due diligence to make sure we hired the right person for the job," Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said. "David's professionalism and leadership ability earned him the position. I am thrilled to continue to build the Rhode Island basketball brand by partnering with a wonderful coach, mentor and teacher."
Since Cox came to URI in May of 2014, the Rams have made two NCAA Championship appearances and one NIT appearance, advancing to the second round all three times. Rhode Island also claimed the program's first Atlantic 10 regular season title in 2018 and its second conference tournament title in 2017. Rhody has won 91 games since Cox joined the staff, the most ever in a four-year stretch in program history.
"This is a dream come true. Navigating the landscape of coaching at the collegiate level has been a long, hard journey," Cox said. "I was blessed to have made it here four years ago, and to have had the opportunity to work with people like President Dooley and Thorr Bjorn, while building this program to where it is now. I am extremely excited, blessed and humbled to be able to lead this program to new heights."
In November of 2017, Cox was ranked as the No. 23 assistant coach in the country by LockDraft.com. Over his first three seasons with the Rams, the team has gone 65-35 with a pair of postseason appearances. In 2016-17, Rhode Island made its first NCAA Championship appearance since 1999, upsetting Creighton in the opening round before falling just short against eventual Final Four participant Oregon in the second round. In Cox' first season in Rhode Island, the Rams went to the 2015 NIT and made it to the second round.
During his time at URI, Cox has been instrumental in the recruitment of Indiana transfer Stanford Robinson, Jeff Dowtin, Michael Tertsea and Fatts Russell. He was the primary recruiter for three members of the 2018 class - Jermaine Harris, Brendan Adams and Tyrese Martin. That class was ranked as a top 25 class nationally.
While at Rutgers, Cox was the Scarlet Knights’ associate head coach, helping the program recruit the 15th-best class in 2011. He served as the interim head coach for a three-game stint in December 2012, guiding RU to a 3-0 record.
From 2007-10, Cox served as an assistant at Georgetown, helping to guide the Hoyas to a trio of post-season appearances. In 2007-08, Georgetown compiled a 28-6 overall record en route to winning the Big East Championship and earning a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 2009-10 Hoya squad also won 28 games and en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance. Cox entered the college ranks as the director of basketball operations at Pittsburgh for the 2006-07 season and was part of the Panthers’ staff that went 29-8 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
A native of Landover, Md., Cox first coached at the high school level at Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C. from 1996-99. He spent the next seven years as an assistant principal at his alma mater, St. John's Prep in Washington, D.C. from 1999-2006, where he oversaw the school's athletic department, supervised all extra-curricular activities, and served as the school’s head of discipline.
Cox began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Washington D.C. Assault AAU program. He helped guide the team to the under-16 national championship in 2004. Several of his players earned college scholarships, including Tre Kelley (South Carolina), Chris McCray (Maryland), Michael Beasley (Kansas State/Miami Heat), Nolan Smith (Duke), Dante Cunningham (Villanova/Portland Trail Blazers), Arinze Onuaku (Syracuse) and Adrian Bowie (Maryland).
A 1995 graduate of William & Mary with a degree in sociology, Cox was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at point guard for the Tribe for head coaches Chuck Swenson and Charlie Woollum. He finished his collegiate career with 670 points, 216 rebounds, 336 assists and a .352 3-point field goal percentage and his name is located throughout the Tribe’s record book. Cox still ranks among school leaders in several statistical categories, including 3-point field goals made (sixth, 137), total assists (eighth, 336); and 3-point field goal percentage (ninth, .352). His career-high 12 assists against George Mason in 1995 still ranks third among all-time single-game performances in W&M basketball history.
In 1996, Cox earned his master’s degree in education from William & Mary. He and his wife Tasha have two children - Leila and Jacob.