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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

    Chico State’s Mitch Cox leaves for job as commissioner of CCAA

    Chico State’s Associate Director of Athletics Mitch Cox has been appointed Interim Commissioner of the California Collegiate Athletic Association by the CCAA Presidents and Chancellors Board. This position comes with a minimum of six months of service, and a maximum of one year. Cox brings with him 26 years in the CCAA with two different schools in the conference; his alma mater Chico State as well as Sonoma State.

    As of December 1, 2017, current Chico State Associate Director of Athletics Mitch Cox will be taking a one year absence from Chico State to pursue an job that he calls, “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would be foolish if I don’t take.”

    What has prepared Cox for this journey he is about to embark on?

    “Experience. I am old. That’s what has prepared me. Working under three commissioners, I have seen what works and what hasn’t. I am a stickler on detail and am ready to put us pointed in the right direction.”

    Prior to Chico State, Cox spent his previous years with another CCAA team, Sonoma State, as their Assistant Athletic Director.

    When at Sonoma State, Cox simply emailed former Assistant Director of Athletics and current Chico State Athletic Director Anita Barker, a short “congratulations” message on her promotion to head Athletic Director at Chico State. While not necessarily looking to leave Sonoma State, he had called Chico home since moving up to go to school and was not opposed to moving back. From there, he asked if her, now former position, was open. Her response? “Yes. Apply for it.”

    Cox got the interview, got the job, left Sonoma, and officially came back to where he felt was his “home.” Chico is such a big part of Cox’s life, that with his new position, he is not leaving his home in Chico and made it a point when accepting the position. While the position requires him to do work primarily in San Ramon, CA, he insists he will be hotel dwelling for those few days, while returning to Chico on the days he does not need to be in the Bay Area.

    Barker has been one of Cox’s biggest cheerleaders, and this is a big reason why he does not have as many worries going into his new job, as well as leaving a vacancy in his current one.

    “I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to learn a whole lot more and if I enjoy the new position, and feel like I’m doing a decent job, then it would be my option to apply for it after the National search in the Spring. If however, I don’t enjoy it and miss being on campus, I can return to my position as Associate AD once a new commissioner is hired. With Anita’s support, I couldn’t pass it up.”

    Like Cox said, he has the full support of Barker. Barker issued a statement shortly after his hiring saying, “I’m thrilled that Mitch has agreed to step into this important role to serve our conference. His history and commitment to the CCAA, along with his leadership skills, will be invaluable to the membership at this time. We will certainly miss him, but I’m happy that he has agreed to take on this challenge. We wish him the best and will continue to be supportive in any way we can.”

    In his years at Chico State, Cox was the Assistant Director of Athletics for his first 11 years, beginning in 2002. On Dec. 18, 2013, Cox was promoted to Chico State’s Associate Director of Athletics, where he has focused his efforts on being the lead administrator of all home events, as well as many behind the scenes duties such as media contracts, marketing, ticketing and scheduling of events.

    Cox said it best himself when explaining the toughest part of replacing him. “I’m not really good at anything but I can do a lot of stuff. That has gotten me to where I am today.”

    So what does Cox’s future hold? Cox said in an email, “To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what my future holds. This is going to be an entirely different experience and I may love it or it might not be my cup of tea. We’ll have to see…”

    With that said, and with his future being so unknown at this point, Mitch Cox, the Chico State community says thank you for all your time and hard work here at our school.

    Justin Couchot can be reached at [email protected] or @JCouchot_Sports on Twitter.

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