THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY JIM FOX, SR.
Just about 19 years ago, I watched my son pack up his car and set out to Davidson, North Carolina where he was to begin a position as the Director of Basketball Operations for Davidson College. Legendary Coach Bob Mc Killop had offered Jim a position on his staff after watching Jim coach Lightning teams on the travel and recruiting circuit. Jim had been the Assistant Coach at St. Dominic High School for four years as well as being the Head Coach for the top Lightning teams. It was time for Jim to leave Long Island to pursue his dream of coaching college basketball.
Jim remained at Davisdon for 13 years during which he steadily moved up the coaching ranks including the last two years when he assumed the role of Associate Head Coach to the great Bob McKillop. During the time Jim was on the coaching staff at Davidson, the team compiled a record of 288-131, 10 SoCon regular-season championships and six SoCon Tournament titles. He helped lead the Wildcats to the postseason in 10 of his 13 campaigns, including NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Davidson advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2008 NCAA Tournament with wins over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin and came within two points of upsetting eventual national-champion Kansas for a berth in the Final Four. Strong recruiting and player development have been staples of his college coaching career with student-athletes that he coached at Davidson earning all-America honors five times and all-conference accolades on 29 occasions. He also coached the SoCon Player of the Year seven times and mentored three SoCon Freshmen of the Year.His most notable pupil was two-time All-American and 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, who played at Davidson from 2006-09. Jim and Steph remain friends to this day.
Jim moved on to Appalachian State University where he held the position of Head Coach for five seasons. He turned the program around in many ways including academic success and the quality of players. Jim’s teams played a very aggressive schedule during his five year tenure including top teams from most of the power conferences. App State played in the very strong Sun Belt Conference. Unfortunately, the team did not win enough this past season and Jim was released despite the fact of tremendous academic improvement and on court performance (just not enough wins).
Jim is now returning to Long Island. He will, in all probability, return to college or pro basketball next season but for now, he is very anxious to work with Lightning as a volunteer to be the Director and On-Court Clinician for our Player and Coach Development Program. What this means is that we will have a top professional coach who has worked for 18 years at the highest level of college basketball to oversee the development of each and every Lightning player and coach. This makes me incredibly proud of Jim for offering to return to us.
Watch for specifics on Jim’s schedule. He will begin working with Lightning teams and running clinics at Island Garden this Fall.