ATLANTA – Dennis Cox, head coach at Clayton State University, is the 2011 Russell Athletic/WBCA National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Coach of the Year, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today. This is the 29th year of this honor, which has been selected by the WBCA since 1983.

“The WBCA is pleased to present Dennis Cox with the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Division II Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Coaches receive lots of awards, but to be chosen for one by your peers has got to be the highest compliment.”

With a record of 181-45 at Clayton State and a winning percentage of .801, Cox is the second-winningest active women’s head coach at the Division II level. He leads second-ranked Clayton State (32-1) against No. 15 Bentley in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight quarterfinals Tuesday.

Cox has directed the Lakers to what is currently the best season in program history. Clayton State became the second team in Peach Belt Conference history to go undefeated during the regular season, and Clayton State’s 32 victories is the most in a season for a Peach Belt women’s team. In addition, the Lakers captured their fourth Peach Belt regular season title under Cox. He was selected Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

Cox took over the helm of the Laker women’s basketball program prior to the 2004-05 season, and his impact was immediately felt. In his six seasons, Clayton State almost overnight become one of the elite women’s programs in Division II with four Peach Belt Conference regular season championships, three Peach Belt Conference Tournament championships, and seven straight trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

Prior to joining Clayton State, Cox served six years as the head coach at Daytona Beach Community College in Daytona Beach, 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 as recent as 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. Cox was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 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 was 291-138 for a winning percentage of .678.

The national coach of the year is selected from a list of finalists composed of the eight regional coaches of the year, who are chosen by vote of their peers in their respective WBCA membership regions.

Joining Cox, the Region 3 Coach of the Year, in receiving Russell Athletic/WBCA Regional Division II Coach of the Year honors for 2011 are:

Cox, as well as the five other Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year recipients, will be formally recognized during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the Indiana Convention Center’s Sagamore Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

Region Coach Institution
1 Barbara Stevens Bentley
2 Lynn Ullom West Liberty
4 Kimberly Cameron Michigan Technological
5 Sandra Rushing Delta State
6 Gene Steinmeyer Northwest Missouri State
7 Mark Kellogg Fort Lewis
8 Carmen Dolfo Western Washington