FAYETTEVILLE — The longest tenured coach in the Arkansas athletic department is stepping down at the end of the month.
Arkansas announced that men’s tennis coach Robert Cox will move out of his position after 26 years with the program. Cox has been the Razorbacks’ coach since 1988, amassing a school-record 323 dual match wins during his career.
"I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to lead the men’s tennis program at the University of Arkansas for the past 26 seasons," Cox said in a news release Monday afternoon. "In that time, I have been blessed to be a part of more than 320 wins, multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and some extraordinary on-court accomplishments. However, I am most proud of the outstanding young men who have been a part of our program and all they have accomplished as Razorback student-athletes by earning their college degrees and proudly representing the University of Arkansas and our entire state."
Cox’s win total makes up 42 percent of the dual match wins in the program’s history (762). The Razorbacks made NCAA Tournament appearances, six regional finals and one Round of 16 berth during Cox’s tenure with the program.
Cox also coached 13 All-Americans, 23 All-SEC selections, seven Southwest Conference champions, two ITA national champions, two ITA No. 1-ranked singles players and one ITA No. 1-ranked doubles team in his career. Oskar Johansson was the last Arkansas player to win a national title in 2001.
He is stepping aside after the Razorbacks went 16-16 overall, 0-12 in the Southeastern Conference in dual matches last season. Cox will remain with the athletic department working with the facilities and event management division.
"For the past 26 years, Robert Cox has been one of the most respected tennis coaches in the country and the cornerstone of the success of our men’s tennis program," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a news release. "His 323 victories and countless accomplishments speak for themselves. However, it is his positive influence on the lives of student-athletes that has set him apart.
"The impact of his leadership can be demonstrated in the remarkable graduation rate of his student-athletes all while competing in the most competitive athletic conferences in the nation. Robert has been and continues to be a great ambassador for the Razorback program and the University of Arkansas. I am pleased that he will remain a part of our department in his new role."
The Razorbacks became the first team in program history to be named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-Academic List in 2012. The Razorbacks also became the first men’s sport at Arkansas to garner a public recognition award from the NCAA for its perfect 1,000 multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR).
Cox’s final duties as Arkansas coach will come later this month, when he works with doubles team of Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott at the NCAA Tournament.
"I appreciate the tremendous support our program has enjoyed throughout my tenure at the University of Arkansas starting with Coach Frank Broyles and Jeff Long and extending to the entire Razorback Family," Cox said in the news release. "I look forward to continuing to serve this great University now in a new role as a part of the athletic department’s administrative team."