WWU Alum Returns to Become First Female Athletic Director
|8/17/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Amber Cox, a William Woods University alumna who has spent nearly seven years with the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Phoenix Mercury, will return to her alma mater to become director of intercollegiate athletics.
“Amber is the first female, and the first alum, to hold this position,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said. “I am so pleased that she has accepted this opportunity; she is going to be a fireball!”
She added, "Amber brings a wealth of diverse experience to the position of athletic director. As a former student-athlete at William Woods, she also brings that unique perspective. I am confident in her ability to lead the Owls to an even higher level of achievement in intercollegiate athletics, with the appropriate focus on character development, academics, sportsmanship and athleticism. As the first female athletic director in WWU's history and her background working in the professional sports arena, it will be exciting to see how the program prospers with her unique touch."
Cox replaces Larry York, who has retired after 11 years as athletic director at William Woods and 23 years as AD at Jefferson City High School.
“It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to return to my alma mater and serve as the director of athletics,” Cox said. “My time as a student-athlete at The Woods provided me with invaluable tools, both personal and professional.
“My hope is to contribute to the great traditions of William Woods athletics and enhance the experience of every one of our student-athletes. I look forward to working with our talented coaches, faculty and staff, under the great leadership of Dr. Barnett, to take this already-successful athletic department to the next level.”
Cox earned her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from William Woods University in 1996, with a major in communications and a minor in physical education. She completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at WWU in 1998.
Most recently Cox was chief operating officer for the Mercury, and prior to that she was senior director of marketing and promotions. The franchise won two WNBA Championships during her tenure.
Before moving to Phoenix, Cox was assistant director of athletics/media relations and development for Columbia College for four years. She worked for the American Midwest Conference for six years as sports information director and commissioner. She also served a year as Region V sports information director.
Other experiences include two years as accounts supervisor at Visionworks Marketing and Communications, and two years as assistant sports information director and assistant basketball coach at WWU while earning her MBA.
While a student, Cox worked as an assistant forestry information specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation and completed a photography internship at the Missouri House of Representatives. She also served as editor of WWU’s student newspaper.
Cox played basketball for the William Woods Owls from 1992 to 1996. She was a three-time AMC All-Conference player and was named NAIA Honorable Mention All-America in 1994-95.
William Woods University offers 13 sports—men and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track and field, as well as baseball, softball and women’s volleyball. This past academic year the Owls captured three American Midwest Conference tournament championships and qualified nine individuals and four teams for the NAIA National Championships.
This past year WWU had five All-Americans. In addition, 18 student-athletes were selected NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and 71 were named Academic All-Conference. Also, five WWU teams earned NAIA Scholar Team status.