Recent graduate assumes coaching role



Head coach Neil Cox leads his teams through warm ups. Photo by Tyler Yeager
Neil Cox has more on his plate than the average college freshman. He is currently enrolled at Southwestern Oregon Community College, working two part time jobs and has just added a varsity coaching position to his resume’. He has now taken the role of Marshfield’s boys varsity tennis coach.


Cox started playing tennis in Coos Bay in second grade for the local club team before moving to Roseburg. Cox played on Roseburg High School’s tennis team for three years before returning to Marshfield for his senior year.


During Cox’s senior year, he played under coach Aron Boesl, the current girls tennis coach, who approached him with the coaching position. The position was left vacant, and without a head coach the boys tennis program would be left with no supervision or leadership.


It was through Bosel that Cox learned about the coaching position just two weeks prior to the start of the season. By the first practice, there were 17 boys thanks to advertisement by Cox and the returning players.


“He’s doing very well,” Boesl said. “He will become an excellent coach as he gets more experience under his belt. Most 19-year-olds don’t have the maturity to take on something like this. It’s a very honorable thing.”


Cox had originally planned to take the assistant coaching position prior to Boesl’s request.


“Coach Boesl originally wanted me to be an assistant coach until about a week before the season started,” Cox said.  “No one filled the position, so I took over.”


As the season progresses, Cox will be tested.  Of the 17 boys on the roster, only three of them are returning from last years team. Many of the players have little to no experience on the court. Cox must jam as much knowledge of the game as possible into the two-hour after-school practices.


“Many of the guys just started this season, so we have to start from the beginning,” Cox said.


The young team will face various challenges in a new leauge composed of teams that are unfamiliar to many of the players. The top 12 players, comprised of four single players, and four doubles teams, will make up the varsity team.


“We have a fairly competitive group of boys,” Cox said. “With a little more experience I think they will perform well in tournaments.”


Junior Logan Gates, one of the returning players who competed with Cox on the varsity team last year, was brought into the sport through Cox.

“Having Neil is good, it’s like having your best friend coach you,” Gates said. “He really helps you.”