HOUGHTON - Michigan Tech athletics honored the memory of longtime coach Verdie Cox with the naming of the courts at Gates Tennis Center as the "Verdie Cox Courts". New lettering and a plaque honoring Cox were unveiled during a ceremony in front of family and friends at Gates Tennis Center Friday morning.
The plaque reads as follows:
"One of the most versatile athletes in the history of Southern Illinois University, Verdie Cox continued that trait as a coach and teacher for 32 years at Michigan Tech. He was head men's tennis coach for 23 years. Under his leadership the tennis team recorded seven unbeaten seasons and four NIC Conference titles (1960, 1970, 1976 & 1979). He was named NIC Coach of the Year four times.
Family and friends of the late Verdie Cox attended a dedication of the tennis courts at Gates Tennis Center in his honor Friday morning. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
As the head men's basketball coach for 19 seasons, Cox lead the Huskies to their first conference championship in 1962-63 with a 17-5 record, and finished third in the NCAA Division II regional in 1962-63. Cox also named Coach of the Year in the Northern Intercollegiate Conference that same season.
Cox was also a core member of the Michigan Tech football program. He was an assistant coach from 1954 - 1975, helping the Huskies win seven conference championships and record a 9-0 undefeated season in 1974.
Verdie Cox was the pro and manager at Portage Lake Golf Course for 19 years and was the moving force behind the addition of the "front nine," transforming it into one of the Upper Peninsula's most challenging courses. He also won several golf championships and served as a high school athletic director, football, and basketball coach before coming to Houghton in 1949.
Verdie Cox was inducted in the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Even after his coaching career at Michigan Tech, Cox had an impact on the Michigan Tech Athletic Department. Several fundraising efforts bearing his name assisted the football and basketball programs in raising money for their programs. The strong affinity for Verdie Cox helped Michigan Tech Athletics in raising over $350,000. This passion for Verdie Cox and his legacy of love for Michigan Tech is recognized by naming the tennis courts at Gates Tennis Center: Verdie Cox Courts."
Cox's children, Tom Cox and Martha Dufresne, were on hand for the ceremony as were many of Verdie's former players.