In Memory

Robert Cox

Robert Cox


Former Los Alamos High School coach Robert ³Bob² Cox, who died in 1998, will be inducted posthumously into the Elizabeth, N.J., Athletic Hall of Fame on May 4. Cox left a very impressive record with the Hilltoppers and at Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth. Cox left Elizabeth for New Mexico in 1949 and became the football, basketball and track coach at Los Alamos High School. He coached football for five years and was undefeated in 1950. During his 16 years as the Hilltoppers¹ basketball coach he won the Class A state championship in 1964. He coached track and field for 20 years and won the 1965 Class A state championship. Cox spent 28 years at Los Alamos, coaching tennis for six years, cross country for five and was also the coordinator of athletic activities for two years. He was previously named to the New Mexico High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Cox always told the story of how when he first moved to Los Alamos, the government insisted on painting the walls of his home. The previous occupant was a government scientist involved in top-secret work, and he liked to use the walls as a sort of blackboard and wrote formulas on any available surface. Cox retired from coaching and teaching in 1977. Also one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the history of New Jersey, Cox came to Jefferson after serving in the Army Air Force in World War II. It was an awkward time to take over basketball. In 1946 Jefferson won the Group IV, North Jersey Section II title for the first time since 1931. But Cox, as a returning veteran, was entitled to the coach¹s job and took over for the 1946-47 season. Only one member of the championship team returned. His new team lost its first two games and then won 13 straight.
In 1947-48, Cox¹s team won 16 straight regular season games and remained undefeated in winning the Union County Championship and the Group IV Sectional Title. The team lost its only game in the semifinal of the Group IV State Tournament, finishing the year with a record of 22-1. In 1948-49, after losing the entire starting lineup from the previous year, the team was again undefeated during the regular season. The team repeated as the undefeated Union County Champion and Group IV State Sectional winner, but fell once again in the semifinals of the Group IV State Tournament and finished with a record of 23-1. His three-year record was 58-5. Cox was also successful as Jefferson¹s track and field coach. In 1949 his team won the Group IV track and field title after winning eight straight dual meets and losing none. His team ended Plainfield¹s seven-year hold on the county championship. Cox was born in 1914 in New Concord, Ohio. He earned a B.A. at Muskingum College in Ohio in 1936 and his M.A. from Ohio State University in 1939. He played professional football for the Patterson Panthers and the Cleveland Rams in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He taught in Hillsboro, Ohio, for a year and then came to Jefferson. He coached basketball and track and field from 1941-43 and left to serve in the military. He died on Feb. 15, 1998, at his home in Los Alamos.

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04/02/20 11:22 AM #1    

Jack Tapie (1977)

Coach Cox, you either hated him or loved him. I was in the latter group. I ran in to Coach a few years before he passed while home on leave. He still called me Teepee, told me I had a nice hair cut and shook my hand like visegrips. Coach Cox was hardcore old school, and I'll never forgeet him

11/06/21 12:35 PM #2    

Dimas Chavez (1955)

Coach Cox nick named me Dimo in grade school when I played basketball for an intramural team known as the Termites.  The name stuck with me all through high school and college.  As indicated earlier by someone, you either hated or loved him.  I had a mixture of both.  i shalll never forget my Junior year when we played football against the Santa Fe Demons in Santa Fe.  I was not a huge stand out in football as I only weighted 135 pounds, but I tried my heart out.  I suited out for the Santa Fe game only to experience a negative evening.  The center for the football team, Gary Raper, forgot to pack his game jersey.  So rather than punish Gary for his error, Cox decided to humiliate me by making me give Gary my game jersey while I sat on the sidelines in total embarrassment.  If I had that evening to live over again I would have protested his inappropriate, poor and total negative decision.  He played favorites, and the fathers who would drop by to watch the team practise, bringing him his favorite pipe tobacco and take him fishing were rewarded by moving their sons up the ladder to a starting position.  Regardless, he was an exceptional coach.  His wife Jane was not only a beautiful women, but a classic piano player and singer.  I had a wonderful relationship with her, and we remained close friends well after she and Coach divorced, and she re-remarried.   Dimas Chavez

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