South Carolina has named Joe Cox its new tight ends coach, head coach Will Muschamp announced Thursday along with several other staff changes.
The team’s standing tight ends coach, Bobby Bentley, has be reassigned to an assistant quarterbacks coach position while the recently-hired Mike Bobo will hold the title offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
To make room for Cox in an on-field position, Kyle Krantz will transition to defensive analyst, a title he held from 2016-17 before working as the Gamecocks’ Nickels/SAM linebackers/special teams assistant for the past two seasons.
Cox comes to Columbia after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado State, where he worked with Bobo.
“It was very evident to me early in the process in talking to Mike about coming here that he wanted somebody to be with him that he trusts and understands the concepts of things he wants to teach,” Muschamp said.
“[Joe is] an outstanding teacher, coach and recruiter.”
Muschamp said Cox came to Columbia for three or four days in December and the former realized quickly why Bobo wanted him on the Gamecock staff.
“Coach Cox is a great coach. He’s a smart guy that knows football,” a current Colorado State offensive player told Spurs & Feathers. “Very high energy during practice and games. Just passionate in what he does.”
Cox’s addition moves Bentley to the quarterback room, where he stepped in for a time while the Gamecocks’ prepared for the 2018 Outback Bowl.
“That’s Bobby’s background. That’s a huge advantage for us to have a guy like Bobby on staff who has coach multiple spots on the offensive side of the ball, and that’s his background,” Muschamp said. “That’ll be a good transition for us.”
“... Kyle has done a fantastic job for us, but in order to make this work for our offense, we needed to open up an on-field spot for Joe to come aboard.”
Cox spent the 2019 season as the Rams’ wide receivers coach after mentoring the tight ends from 2015-18. The former Georgia quarterback, who started every game in 2009 for Bobo, joined the CSU staff as a graduate assistant in 2015 after coaching for two years at the high school level in his home state of North Carolina.
Cox helped propel a Rams’ offense that turned in some of the most productive seasons in school history. CSU has posted two of the top five scoring seasons in school history and two of the top four marks for total offense with Cox on the staff, including a school-record 492.5 yards per game in 2017.
“I appreciate Coach Muschamp giving me this opportunity and I'm excited about continuing to work with Coach Bobo,” Cox said in a release. “We have a long history together - first at Georgia, then at Colorado State. I'm also looking forward to getting back to the South and the places where I'm most comfortable. I am anxious to get started working with this staff, the group I have this spring, and adding more quality players to the tight ends room.”
In 2019, the Rams ranked 14th in the nation in passing offense, averaging 305.3 yards per game through the air. Junior wide receiver Warren Jackson averaged 111.9 receiving yards per game, fourth in the country, on 77 receptions with eight touchdowns in 10 games. True freshman wideout Dante Wright added 57 catches for 805 yards.
In 2018, with Cox guiding a talented group of tight ends, the Rams ranked 13th in FBS in passing offense (304.9), registered the fourth-highest mark in school history for passing touchdowns with 26 and the 10th-best season for total offense, averaging 410.5 yards per game.
Cox was part of the coaching staff at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C., from 2013-14 when the school won back-to-back state championships.
As Georgia's starting quarterback in 2009, Cox completed 185-of-331 pass attempts for 2,584 yards and 24 touchdowns, at the time the second-best single-season total in UGA history. For his career, Cox completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,016 yards and 29 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.
Cox was the 2004 state of North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and AP Prep Player of the Year, and a Parade Magazine All-American at Independence (N.C.) High School.