DALLAS (NCBWA) – John Cox, a veteran of 45 years of broadcasts in Southern Miss athletics and regional award winner, is the 48th annual NCBWA Russell D. Anderson/Wilbur Snypp Award recipient for national contributions to college baseball.
The award, first given in 1975 to National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association founder Wilbur (Bill) Snypp of Ohio State, also memorializes the cherished Russell D. Anderson – treasurer and associate executive director for the NCBWA for three decades from 1996-2021 before passing away April 5, 2021. Anderson was awarded the top honor given by the NCBWA in 2002 for his sterling efforts.
Cox has been director of sports broadcasting at USM since 1979 and is a legend in the world of college broadcasting. He started his career at USM as play-by-play broadcaster for Golden Eagles football, basketball and baseball along with duties as assistant media relations director in athletics to the late Ace Cleveland.
Cox joins Mississippi State broadcaster and 2019 NCBWA Russell D. Anderson/Wilbur Snypp Award winner Jim Ellis and Ole Miss veteran broadcaster David Kellum as the second-longest tenured college sports broadcasters over 45 seasons and ranks just behind Louisiana Tech’s legendary Dave Nitz who is starting his 49th year behind the college baseball radio microphone as well as working Bulldogs football and basketball events.
“I want to thank the NCBWA for selecting me for this incredible honor, and I have to admit I was stunned when I got the call,” John Cox said. “To win an award that is named after the talented Russ Anderson, someone that I was fortunate enough to work with for so many years when he was with Conference USA, and the legendary Wilbur Snypp is a dream come true. Like hitting a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth. For as long as I can remember all I ever wanted to do was put that headset on and broadcast athletic events. And when I finally got a chance to do it so many years ago it was a dream come true. And the best part is that I love it even more today than when I started.
“Baseball, especially college baseball, is such a unique, beautiful and wonderful sport and to be behind the microphone watching and chronicling the sport grow in leaps and bounds for so many years, especially here at Southern Miss, has been an incredible journey,” he added. “Watching the amazing growth of college baseball has been so much fun to cover and the best part is it just keeps getting better as the seasons go by. Learning from and being around all-time great coaches like Pete Taylor, Hill Denson, Corky Palmer and Scott Berry here at Southern Miss has really made it even more special. Thanks to everyone with the NCBWA that had a part in my selection for this prestigious award.
“In college baseball the play-by-play guy’s best friend is the sports information director,” he continued. “The SID is invaluable and irreplaceable in helping you provide your listener with the most accurate, interesting and important information. I have been lucky enough over the years to have SIDS like (current football media relations director at West Virginia) Mike Montoro and (Southern Miss Assistant AD) Jack Duggan alongside me, traveling on those long bus trips and sitting at ball parks all around the country. Sometimes inside, sometimes outside, rain or shine and even snow, and never getting all the credit they deserve. They certainly have a lot to do with this award.”
Among his many duties at Southern Miss, Cox handles the play-by-play broadcasts of Golden Eagles football, basketball and baseball. He hosts the Golden Eagle Hotline radio shows while focusing on football during the fall and on men’s and women’s basketball during the winter. His more recent responsibilies have included heading weekly podcasts for USM administrators, coaches and student-athletes year-round.
Before he moved to the radio booth, the 2022 RDA/Snypp Award honoree was the play-by-play man on delayed telecasts of Southern Miss basketball from 1978-81. In 1982, he handled the radio play-by-play duties for Golden Eagle football and switched back to the delayed television broadcasts of Southern Miss football for three years before assuming his current radio responsibilities in 1986.
In 1982 Cox began broadcasting Southern Miss baseball games, and over the years he also has performed radio play-by-play roles for Southern Miss women’s basketball. He also has worked on the FOX Sports Net South and Comcast Sports Southeast telecasts of Southern Miss baseball. The veteran broadcaster called his 2,000th baseball game in 2019. In 2015 he was on the air for 1,000th men’s basketball tussle.
Six times he has been selected as Mississippi’s Sportscaster of the Year - most recently in 2013. In 2017 the football radio booth was named in his honor and he was immortalized with his own bobblehead figure during the 2019 baseball season.
“John Cox definitely is most deserving of the 2022 Russell Anderson/Wilbur Snypp Award,” said NCBWA executive director Bo Carter. “His work and promotion of college baseball for all or parts of five decades speak for themselves. People have respected his fairness and picture-painting of baseball and other sports he has worked at USM, and his unselfish work ethic and humble attitude have earned him thousands of followers through the years.”
A native of Middletown, Ohio, Cox received his bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film from Southern Miss in 1978. He has two daughters, Joye, a graduate of Millsaps, and Erin, a graduate of Southern Miss.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official website www.ncbwa.com. The preseason All-America squads are considered the first step toward the eventual selection of the 2020 Dick Howser Trophy presented by the Game Headwear and voted upon for 23 seasons by members of the NCBWA.