Fox relieved of coaching duties, 56-99 in 5 seasons


File Photo

On Friday, Jim Fox was relieved from the position of men’s head basketball coach. Fox was the first to coach the team in the Sun Belt Championships.

Brooks Maynard, Reporter

Head coach for App State men’s basketball Jim Fox was relieved of his duties after five seasons on Friday, according to App State Athletics.

Men’s basketball has posted a record of 56-99 since Fox was hired in April 2014, including a 35-59 record in Sun Belt play. Fox’s best record with the Mountaineers came in 2017-18, going 15-18 with a 9-9 Sun Belt mark, good for a No. 5 finish in conference play.

“I want to thank Jim and his staff for all they have done for our basketball program,” athletic director Doug Gillin said in a press release. “Jim inherited a challenging situation, worked hard and has brought in high character student athletes.”

The highlight of Fox’s career at App State was the development of senior guard Ronshad Shabazz, who scored over 2,000 points in his time as a Mountaineer and became the second-leading scorer in school history earlier in the 2019 season.

While Fox’s success on the court was muted, he was highly successful off of it. Fox’s first season at App State included a postseason ban due to the program’s failure to meet the NCAA minimum Academic Progress Rate score of 930. Since his takeover, the program has registered an APR of over 950 multiple times, including two seasons with a 980 score.

Fox was the 21st head coach in App State men’s basketball history and the first to coach in the Sun Belt Conference. Before coming to App State, he spent 13 years at former Southern Conference rival Davidson College, spending two seasons as the associate head coach.

Per Fox’s contract, App State will be required to pay Fox a $200,000 buyout to complete the termination. Associate head coach Jason Allison will serve as interim head coach while App State Athletics conducts a search for a new head coach.

“Our vision for basketball is to annually compete for a conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament,” Gillin said in a press release. “We will conduct a national search to find the best leader to accomplish that vision.”