The new men’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island is the school’s top assistant, David Cox, according to university spokeswoman Linda Acciardo. Cox will be paid $700,000 annually for five years under his contract with the university.
The appointment of Cox means that URI has decided that continuity, rather than change, is the theme of a men’s basketball program that was resurrected over the past six years under head coach Dan Hurley, who recently departed for the University of Connecticut after taking the university’s program to the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference and two consecutive NCAA appearances.
Cox, a 1995 graduate of William & Mary, has been a crucial recruiter for the Rams. He has been at URI for four seasons under Hurley. Hurley was known to be supportive of Cox. During his time in Kingston, Cox was instrumental in recruiting Stanford Robinson, Jeff Dowtin, Michael Tertsea and Tyrese Martin.
Cox becomes URI’s third African-American men’s head basketball coach. Al Skinner who led the program from 1988 to 1997, was the second African-American coach. Skinner took URI to two NIT tournaments and two NCAA tournaments, before leaving for Boston College, which at the time was a Big East team. Before Skinner, the Rams were coached from 1980 to 1984 by the university's first African-American coach, Claude English.
Before coming to URI, Cox was an assistant at Georgetown and Rutgers. He is a native of Landover, Maryland who first coached at the high school level at Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C. In 1996, Cox earned a master’s degree in education from William & Mary. He and his wife Tasha have two children, Leila and Jacob.
URI has scheduled a news conference for Friday to discuss Cox’s elevation to head coach.