Bobby Cox, OBU head baseball coach and professor of kinesiology and leisure studies, was named the recipient of OBU's Meritorious Service Award during the university's Spring Commencement May 13.
OBU President David W. Whitlock announced the award for Cox, who joined the OBU faculty in 1984, during the graduation ceremonies before an overflow audience of more than 1,800 in the university's Raley Chapel. At the time, Cox was coaching the Bison baseball team in the NAIA National Tournament in Joliet, Ill.
Guided by Cox, the Bison baseball team journeyed back to the Avista NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, in late May, making its first World Series appearance in 15 years. Also during the season, Cox was inducted to the NAIA Baseball Hall of Fame, was named Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and claimed his 1,000th career win.
The Meritorious Service Award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has made a substantial commitment of years, service, and who has been a loyal and faithful faculty or staff member.
"He has been a role model for hundreds of young men and has made a huge impact on the lives of students and former athletes that he has coached," Whitlock said. "He is a role model not only to players that play for him, but also to others in the coaching profession. His professional record of wins and losses speaks for itself, but his impact on the lives of those he comes in contact with on a daily basis is immeasurable. He represents all that is good about OBU and Bison Athletics."
Cox earned his bachelor's degree from OBU and his master's degree from East Central University. In 1993 he was named OBU's Winningest Coach, and in 1996 he was inducted in the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame and named Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the year.
Each year at Spring Commencement, OBU presents three important awards to recognize quality teaching and faithful, productive service: the Promising Teacher Award, the Meritorious Service Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award. Nominations for the awards are made by alumni, current students, faculty and administration. In addition to public recognition and a token of the university's appreciation, the recipients receive cash awards provided by OBU graduates John and Janet Hudson of Edmond, Okla.