“Is there ever a good time to go? No. I just saw some philosophical differences on what I believe needs to take place, and I didn’t see anything being able to change. We were sort of locked with it, so instead of coaching angry and everything else, I thought it was just best to move on.”
Cox, 53, has directed the Firebirds since the school opened in 1997 and had a 114-103 record, which included a 2-5 record in five trips to the Division I playoffs and two Greater Miami Conference co-championships.
Jeff Wadl, his longtime assistant coach, has been named interim head coach for the 2018 season.
“I assumed they would do that,” said Cox, a 1982 Badin graduate who has also resigned as West’s track coach. “With everything that’s going on, I just want to take some time to decompress.
“I’m sort of sitting like Urban Meyer did when he left Florida. I’m just going to sit back and let things happen, spend some time with my wife and kids. We’ve never been together for a summer where I’m not working on the fall season. That’ll be a different experience.”
West is coming off back-to-back 2-8 campaigns, though Cox said he never received any pressure from his administration.
He’s been among the area coaching leaders in getting kids to play in college. On the flip side, his teams finished .500 or below nine times during his 21-year tenure.
“I’ve never been a stat guy,” Cox said. “I always tell people that I rate successful coaches on how they take care of kids, and I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish at Lakota West. We took a program that was nothing and turned into something that, good or bad, people talked about. It’s always going to be in the conversation of high school football.
“I love how our kids go on to college and graduate and turn out to be great adults that have their priorities right. I love being with kids. That was the hardest part of this decision.”
Cox said he has a contract to continue as a physical education teacher at West in 2018-19. He’s planning to do that “at this point.”
Will he coach football again?
“I’d like to hope so,” Cox said. “I think there’s time for me to do that.”
He has a career coaching record of 127-110. Cox was 13-7 in two seasons at Bellbrook before coming to West.