He spent 40 seasons as a collegiate basketball coach, including 32 at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick. Cox retired from coaching after the 2013-14 season, finishing with a 632-556 career record in the college ranks. At Coastal Georgia, he compiled a 497-453 record while his teams finished with an overall winning record in 19 seasons while having 10 20-win seasons.
While coaching the Mariners during their junior-college years from 1982 through 2011, Cox guided the program to seven conference championships (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2001, 2002) while taking two teams (1985-86 and 2001-2002) to Hutchinson, Kan., for the Sweet 16 in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship tournament. The 1991-92 Mariners team posted a school-best 27-7 record when it won the conference championship and qualified for the national tournament. The 2011 Coastal Georgia team won the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular-season championship in the school's final year in the juco ranks before losing close in the championship game of the league tournament.
Cox coached previously at the collegiate level for 10 years at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., where he was the assistant men's basketball coach for two seasons prior to becoming the head coach in 1970 and staying in that role for eight seasons. In his first four seasons at TMC, Cox guided his teams to the postseason tournament each year in a league that included both Georgia and Alabama teams. With only the top four schools from each state qualifying for the tournament, TMC was the only school to earn that distinction. His team played for the championship once during that span. He compiled a 135-103 record there as head coach with five winning seasons including a 28-4 campaign in 1972-73.
Cox left Truett-McConnell in 1979 to become head coach at Piedmont High in Monroe, N.C., where he spent the next three years. At Piedmont, Cox turned a struggling program into an instant winner. He remembers the senior players on his first team winning more games that particular year than they had in junior high school and the three previous seasons combined.
He was hired in 1982 to revive the men's program at then-Brunswick Junior College which had been dormant since the mid-1970s. During his time at the local college, Cox coached several All-American and All-Conference players while sending many players on to four-year colleges. Several of his former players also played professional basketball, including former All-American Frankie King, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA and later played professionally overseas for several years.
Cox began his coaching career in 1965 at Coulwood Junior High in Charlotte, N.C., where he coached boys basketball, track and field and also football. He returned to college in 1967 to pursue a master's degree in physical education and education at Appalachian State University before resuming his teaching and coaching career the following year at Truett-McConnell. Cox earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Appalachian State Teachers College. He previously received his associate's degree from Presbyterian Junior College, where he also was a member of the men's basketball team.
He graduated from Ramseur High in Ramseur, N.C., where he was a four-year letterman for the varsity basketball and baseball teams. Cox made all-conference in basketball and baseball as a senior, pitching three 1-hitters that year.
In addition to coaching basketball at Coastal Georgia, Cox was a physical education teacher and also served several years as athletic director before retiring from those roles in 2010.
On January 11, 2020, the College of Coastal Georgia named the basketball court inside Howard Coffin Gym “Coach Cox Court” in his honor.
In February 2020, Cox was one of the inaugural inductees into the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.
He continued to reside in Brunswick with his wife Polly, also a retired educator, until his death on July 12, 2020.