Tucker Cox has always wanted to follow in his father Richard’s footsteps. Now he’s getting that opportunity.
Cox has been named head girls basketball coach at Airline, principal Justin James announced Monday.
In the 1991-92 season, Head Coach Richard Cox guided the Lady Vikings to the Class 5A championship, the only state title in basketball in the school’s history.
Tucker Cox replaces Lyndzee Greene McConathy, who stepped down after six seasons.
For him, coming to Airline is coming home. He played basketball there and graduated in 2011.
He said becoming a head coach has always been a goal and getting to be one at his alma mater makes it more special.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Especially coming back home like that, my alma mater, and kind of following in my dad’s footsteps. That’s the whole reason I coach because of my dad growing up.”
After about a decade at Airline, Richard Cox’s stint as head coach was cut short when he suffered a stroke. He resumed his career at Greenacres Middle School coaching football.
In 2016, he became an assistant to his former player Mary Lowry Ward at Benton, helping the Lady Tigers win the 2020 Class 5A championship after finishing runner-up in Class 4A in 2019.
The past couple of seasons, he has been a constant presence at his son’s games, sitting on the front row at home games near the Parkway bench.
Tucker Cox has already followed in his farther’s footsteps in becoming a coach.
He has been assistant at Parkway for the last seven seasons. This past season, he helped the Lady Panthers win the Class 5A championship, the first basketball state title in school history.
Parkway also won its third straight District 1-5A championship.
He also helped coach the boys team.
After graduating from Airline, Cox walked on at Northwestern State before transferring to BPCC and playing there for a season. He walked on at Louisiana Tech but suffered a torn ACL that ended his playing career.
He got his degree at Tech in kinesiology.
Airline finished 18-15 this past season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. The school has a tradition of success in girls basketball.
Cox believes he can build on that tradition and add to it.
“I always thought Airline had all the resources,” he said. “I think it’s a gold mine. To me it’s probably the best job in North Louisiana.
“There’s no doubt that there’s support. Even on a 1-9 (football) season (in 2021) they packed the stands out.”
Cox said he’s been humbled and gratified by the support he’s already received.
“The amount of support, phone calls and texts I’ve gotten today — it just blows my mind to think how many people will take a second to reach out to you and congratulate you,” he said.
He added that the supporters will likely be hearing from him again soon as fundraising efforts begin.
“We’re trying to do some nice things for these girls,” he said. “But I’m just excited to have the opportunity to create the next powerhouse in girls basketball out of Northwest Louisiana and continue the tradition of state champions.”
Cox and his wife Megan have a 3-year-old son, John, and a daughter on the way.