Former Davidson assistant officially named Appalachian State coach

Winston-Salem JournalApril 8, 2014 

Jim Fox, who has been part of 13 consecutive winning seasons as an assistant coach at Davidson College, was named men’s basketball coach at Appalachian State on Tuesday.

Fox, Davidson’s associate head coach the past two seasons, will be introduced as the Mountaineers’ coach at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday during a news conference at the Appalachian Athletics Center. The event is open to the public.

“We’re very excited to welcome coach Fox to the Appalachian family,” Charlie Cobb, Appalachian’s athletics director, said in a prepared statement. “He is wellrespected across the country, and his winning pedigree speaks for itself. However, what really made him stand out in the search process is his commitment to building a winning men’s basketball program at Appalachian State.”

Fox replaces Jason Capel, whose contract was not renewed after four seasons. The Mountaineers were 53-70 under Capel, including 9-21 this past season.

Fox’s contract is for five years, with a base salary starting at $200,000 for the 2014-15 contract year and increasing $10,000 each year.

He can earn supplemental bonuses for achieving goals for academicprogress rate and team grade-point average, conference titles, NCAA tournament berths and advancement, NIT berths and conference coach of the year awards.

The contract includes a salary pool of $200,000 for three assistant-coaching positions and funding for a director of basketball operations at $50,000 a year.

Fox, 40, is a native of Levittown, N.Y., and a 1995 graduate of State University of New York at Geneseo. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science.

He started his coaching career St. Dominic High in Oyster Bay, N.Y., where he was associate head coach for five seasons and athletics director for one year. He also coached the Long Island Lightening AAU program.

He was hired by Bob McKillop at Davidson as a volunteer assistant in 2001 and became a full-time assistant the next year. He was named associate head coach in 2012.

Davidson was 288-131 and won six Southern Conference titles during Fox’s 13 seasons under McKillop, who has more victories than any other basketball coach in Southern Conference history.

“Over the past 13 years, I’ve been very fortunate to be part of an institution with a rich academic and basketball tradition,” Fox said in a statement. “I look forward to helping restore as well as build a program (at Appalachian) that achieves excellence in every regard.”

McKillop said Tuesday in a telephone interview that it’s a bittersweet moment for him and that he will miss his top assistant as his program leaves the Southern Conference for the Atlantic 10 next season but that he couldn’t be more pleased for Fox.

Appalachian will move from the Southern Conference and to the Sun Belt Conference next season.

McKillop complimented Cobb for diligence and communication with him during the hiring process.

“I think Charlie really did his homework and was very engaging in the process,” McKillop said.

McKillop said that Fox has “advanced through the ranks” with a disciplined, focused and committed attitude.

“He took it step-by-step, came in as a volunteer coach and earned his way through every step, going from volunteer to what was termed part-timer to second assistant to first assistant to associate head coach,” McKillop said.

“It’s very inspiring for me to see a guy see that constant growth. Each step of the way, he had more and more responsibility with the intent always being to prepare him for this moment now.”

McKillop said that in the past two seasons, Fox has done everything from conducting practice when McKillop had other commitments to making recruiting decisions.

“If I had to make a call on a recruit that I didn’t see a lot, and he saw more than me, I’d trust him with his judgment and his evaluation to make the call and offer the scholarship,” McKillop said.

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