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Tennis Staff
 Robert Cox

With over 25 years of experience, men's tennis head coach Robert Cox has led the Razorbacks to almost 40 percent of the programs total wins.

The all-time leading winner in program history, Cox added 14 victories to his career total wins with the Hogs, giving him a total of 306. Cox grabbed his 300th win with a thrilling victory at No. 43 Santa Clara.

In his 24 years, he has led Arkansas to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, to six regional finals and to the Round of 16 once. He has had 14 seasons with 12 or more victories, had 11 teams end the year ranked in the top 35 in the nation and produced 13 All-America selections.

While his teams are solid on the court, they are also impressive in the classroom. The 2012 squad was the first team in program history to be named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic List, with three players Matt Walters, Hall Fess and Nikolas Zogaj being named ITA scholar-athletes.    

As a program, which began in 1955, the university has 746 all-time victories. Cox's 286 wins represent 38.3 percent of that total.
Under Cox, the Razorbacks were ranked in the nation's top 30 at some point during every season from 1980-2007 with the exception of one season (2000). Arkansas finished with final national rankings of No. 18 in 1988, No. 19 in '89, No. 17 in '92, No. 22 in '93, No. 27 in '94, No. 35 in '95, No. 34 in '98, No. 25 in '01, No. 24 in '02, No. 39 in '03, No. 24 in '04 and No. 22 in '06.

In addition to the All-America selections, Cox has had 23 All-SEC selections and seven SWC champions, two ITA national champions, two ITA No. 1-ranked singles players and one ITA No. 1-ranked doubles team.

In 2010, Chris Nott added to the total as the junior earned All-SEC honors and helped the Razorbacks record wins over No. 41 South Carolina and No. 52 Columbia.

In 2009, senior Blake Strode went 27-12, earned All-America honors and was the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He ended the year ranked No. 13 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

The 2008 club recorded wins over No. 22 Vanderbilt, No. 33 Oklahoma and No. 49 Mississippi State on the way to 12 victories.
Strode was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2007, but the highlight of the year was a group of former Razorbacks coming together for a ceremony to rename center court at the newly christened and renovated George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Cox's honor.

In 2006, Cox led the Hogs to the regional finals and 18 victories, the most by a UA squad since 1989. Arkansas won the ITA Central Region Team Championship and advanced to the ITA National Indoor Championship. Cox, the 2006 ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, earned his 350th career win on April 7, 2006, at Auburn. The Razorbacks finished with a No. 22 national ranking. Adrian Zguns was 26-12 and earned All-America and All-SEC honors, and Strode and Matt Roberts were named to All-SEC teams.
Rohan Gajjar and Roberts earned All-SEC honors in 2005 after Roberts went 26-9 and Gajjar 21-15.

In 2004, Cox was named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year for leading the Razorbacks to a 16-10 finish, a No. 24 final ranking by the ITA and into the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 for the first time since 1986. He also became UA's all-time victories leader with a 6-1 victory at Hawaii on March 12. The win was his 219th at Arkansas and moved him past Tom Pucci, Cox's coach at Arkansas.
Only the second coach in school history with 100 wins, Cox has coached eight All-Americans in Mike Brown, Tim Crichton, Euan McGinn, Tom Hamilton, Marcus Hilpert, Oskar Johansson, Adrians Zguns and Strode.

Under Cox's guidance, Johansson became the most recent Arkansas player to capture a national title and earn a No. 1 ranking in 2001.
Cox also guided Crichton and Hamilton to the National Clay Court Doubles title and automatic berth in the NCAA Championship in 1996. Also in 1996, the partners held the nation's top doubles ranking for most of the season and became the first Razorback pair to secure the top spot since Peter Doohan and Pat Serret won the NCAA doubles championship in 1982.

The same duo reached the finals of the National Clay Court Championship again in 1997.

For their efforts, Crichton and Hamilton earned both All-America and All-SEC honors in 1997 and 1998.

Cox also coached Zguns in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championship, and to All-America honors and a No. 18 final ranking in 2006. In 2009, Cox coached Strode into the semifinals of the NCAA Championship and automatic All-America honors.

Strode also became the first person to win the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament and earned a spot in the qualifying draw for the Open in 2010.

Taking the reins of the UA program in 1988, Cox turned around a team that had gone 9-16 the year before and won the Southwest Conference championship with an 18-6 record. He was the 1988 ITA Region VI Coach of the Year.
Cox followed with a second SWC title in 1989, guiding the Hogs to a 19-8 finish.

Cox claimed his 300th career victory with the 5-2 win at Texas-San Antonio on March 20, 2002.

Cox began his collegiate career at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, earning All-America honors in doubles for legendary junior college coach Fred Kniffen. While Cox was a regular in the singles lineup, he and Apache partner Ray Anders reached the finals of the National Junior College doubles championships in 1976, earning All-America honors. Cox transferred to Arkansas after his sophomore season, and as a player for the Razorbacks in 1977 and 1978, he was a part of squads that produced a 48-10 record under Pucci.

After earning a business administration degree in the fall of 1978, the Palestine, Texas, native spent a year as the head pro at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler. Cox then left Tyler to travel the ATP tennis circuit, playing in Europe.

Cox also earned a No. 6 ranking in 1979 among Texas men and has more than 70 tournament victories to his credit. The high point of Cox's on-court career came when he competed in the 1980 U.S. Open mixed doubles qualifying tournament.

Cox taught at the Kansas City Country Club in Mission Hills, Kan., until going to Tyler Junior College as the head tennis coach for both the men and women's squads. During his time at TJC, Cox led the men's team to the NJCAA national championship in 1985 while the women claimed the title in 1987. The women's team also collected a pair of national runner-up finishes under Cox.

For his efforts, Cox was named the National Junior College Men's Coach of the Year and the National JC Women's Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1987, respectively. In his tenure, TJC captured six regional titles and produced 31 All-America selections. When he left TJC to coach at Arkansas, Cox became one of the few coaches to coach at both of his alma maters.

Throughout his playing career, Cox received instruction from many of the top tennis instructors in the country. From his start in the game under the tutelage of his father, Dr. Robert Cox Sr., and of high school coach Marley Styner, Cox not only improved his on-court talents, but also gained an intricate knowledge of tennis that aids him in coaching.

Cox has a master's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. He is married to the former Meredith Rooney of Little Rock. Meredith is currently employed by the Springdale School District serving as a literary coach. His 27-year-old daughter, Afton, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Arkansas and received her master's degree in education in 2005. She is currently in her fourth year of teaching at Southwest Junior High in Springdale.