Basketball: R-H legends get Hall call

By Bryan Sullivan, staff writer

Messenger Post Posted Nov 04, 2011



Henrietta, N.Y. —

Even in retirement, the accolades keep coming for Jim Cox.

The former coaching legend at Rush-Henrietta is one of 12 people who will be inducted into the Section 5 Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Burgundy Basin. He will be honored alongside John Smith, a 1972 graduate of Rush-Henrietta who will go into the Hall of Fame as a player.

Cox left R-H in 2000 after amassing 397 career wins, seven Monroe County Championships and three Section 5 titles. He is also a member of the Frontier Field Walk of Fame and National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

“It means a lot,” Cox said. “I have been blessed getting to coach at R-H. This is a great honor. I have always looked forward to joining the ranks of the Hall of Fame with a lot of the great coaches.”

Cox started his coaching career working with the Comet freshman team, then took over the R-H junior varsity program for five years until Roth opened in 1975. When Roth and Sperry merged he took as head coach of the one R-H team.

Cox is easily one of Section 5’s most successful coaches never having a losing season in 25 years on the bench. Even in his first season at R-H Roth, with a team filled with players who have never played varsity basketball, Cox led the team to the Section 5 finals.

Cox’s most successful season was in 1980 when his R-H Roth team reached the state tournament finals. One of his best players on the team was current Royal Comets head coach Chris Reed.

“They were an exceptional team,” Cox said. “They ran and shot well, and we had a number of kids who could score from the perimeter. I used to sit back and be amazed at the ball movement. Those players always emphasized team play. They really brought it to a new level.”

Cox believes his greatest asset was helping create a program where former players wanted to come back and coach. Former standouts Reed and Kyle Hargrave are head coaches of the varsity and junior programs respectively.

Reed, who replaced Cox after he retired, uses lessons from his former coach with today’s players.

“I think I speak for a whole generation of kids growing up in Henrietta that you could not have a better role model and coach,” Reed said. “He is the reason that I do what I do today. He was an incredible role model and the success his teams had was due to him.”