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‘An important honor’: SFU Professor David Cox became the first sports psychologist to be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame

The renowned sports psychologist David Cox received the honor of his life.

Cox, who has taught in Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) clinical psychology program for more than 35 years, became the first sports psychologist to be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

He was officially inducted last Thursday (June 9) with the Class of 2021 in the Builder Coach category.

“When I got the call last fall, I found it quite emotional, far more than I expected,” Cox said in a statement from SFU.

“It’s an important honor for me, but I think it’s more important for sports science/medicine and others who work to support athletes and teams. It’s huge for me and for my profession.”

Throughout his career, Cox has worked with provincial and national athletic organizations, as well as with many of Canada’s top athletes, including Olympic gold medalist and SFU graduate Carol Huynh, tennis pro Grant Connell and middle-distance runner Leah Pells.

Many of his clients are also inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

To this day, he still works with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Cox has also worked with the Vancouver Canucks, Canada Basketball, Tennis Canada, Canada Soccer, Skate Canada, Rugby Canada, Canada Softball, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada Snowboard, Canadian Curling Association and SFU.

Cox explains that his earliest sporting memories were of football, rugby and basketball, but says his introduction to tennis at age 11 was the most significant.

“That was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me because it really changed my life in terms of athletics. I started playing tennis and I loved the game.”

He then went on to work with one of Canada’s leading tennis superstars, Grant Connell, who reportedly remarked, “When David traveled with me on the tour, we scored more firsts for Canada than in any other era.”

In a BC Hall of Fame feature story, Cox stated that he is a big fan of excellence.

“What are the things that people who achieve excellence have? What’s the key? Excellence is determined by factors such as the opportunity to learn and work, motivation and support.

“The two big issues are faith and work ethic. What connects all this? You have to have a passion for what you do. Passion is huge.”

Other members of the 2021 BC Sports Hall of Fame class include:

  • Jason Delesalle – athlete
  • Gerry Gilmore – athlete
  • Dale Mitchell – athlete
  • Gino Odjick – athlete
  • Eli Pasquale – athlete
  • Judy Broom – builder
  • Kelly Mann – builder
  • 1961–62 Vancouver Firefighters men’s soccer team
  • Gene Kiniski – Pioneer
  • Karin Larsen – Media
  • Ron Jones – WAC Bennett Prize

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