Mark Fox: 100 Georgia Bulldog Hoops Wins and Counting


Mark Fox tallied his 100th win as the Georgia head basketball coach this week, and he’s got plenty more to come.

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It’s not exactly a secret that I have a close personal connection to UGA basketball. I chose not to write about the team for because of friendship, but the emotions were overflowing after the Dawgs beat Tennessee Saturday afternoon, and Mark Fox earned his 100th victory while at Georgia.

I remember the day he was hired and announced as Georgia’s head coach. After the failed run at Mike Anderson, I thought Damon Evans would go after Anthony Grant. While I’m sure I saw Nevada and Fox at some point, he never stood out to me, and I had to Google him to learn more about him. In hindsight, I think it was the best decision Evans made during his tenure at Butts-Mehre (I’ll leave the red panties out of this).

Nearly nine months later, I met his wife, Cindy, when I was asked to join a fundraising committee for the newly formed Suits & Sneakers Gala. My good friends, Aubrey Garrison, another longtime basketball booster, and Lisa Jeffers, who also worked In healthcare like myself, were heading up the effort, and they both mentioned my name when thinking of someone who loved sports, fundraising and knew healthcare.

It was a slam dunk partnership. It has been exactly five years since our group came together, and it has led me to love Georgia basketball even more than before because I became a part of the coaches’ families, and I found that I didn’t want the Fox family to leave Athens.

Every time I heard “if the team is any good, he will get a better job” I would cringe. Every time I heard, “he can’t recruit” I cringe. He is here for the long haul, and he isn’t looking for a quick fix to get the team to a place we’ve never been: prolonged success. Like every UGA basketball fan, he wants to see more banners for the basketball team.

I think the current NCAA appearances are still less than the Gymnastics team’s NCAA championships. Sure, the tenure hasn’t been all roses – Saturday’s victory was as gritty as Fox’s 100-84 record at Georgia.

Mark Fox joined the Spike Squad during the LSU Football game, September 2013

Somehow, I lucked out, and my season tickets are next to the coaches’ families and in front of the players’ families. It is personal for me because I have grown to love this UGA basketball family.

Sure, Mark Fox has run into some bumps along the way: losing to Georgia Tech (I won’t say how many years it’s been… Too painful), having to boot Brandon Morris off the team last year, the injuries to this year’s star player, Marcus Thornton, every year. There’s definitely more, but I’m trying to celebrate a milestone victory here, so I’ll stop.

Mark Fox is a great fit for UGA basketball. He understands that the SEC is a football conference, and basketball has played second fiddle pretty much since the start. Walk into the basketball office, and there’s a framed print of Uga V going for Robert Baker’s uhhh… treasure chest.

Fox won over a few fans in September 2013 when he joined the Spike Squad during the LSU football game. He regularly tweets about football games, including congratulating the pigskin Dawgs on a great recruiting class. The two Marks have forged a friendship over Bulldogs wins and waffles. As long as Mark is a Bulldog, I hold out hope that basketball games will be just as wild and raucous as football games.

I have a dream that I won’t see a loyal UGA fan bringing War & Peace to read at games – no, really. I think it was in 2009, Mark’s first year?

I have a dream that I won’t see Kentucky, Tennnessee and Florida orange and/or blue sitting in the lower level which should be all red & black.

I have a dream that people will start checking the UGA basketball schedule before scheduling important events.

I have a dream that UGA basketball won’t be an afterthought, and the names of the starting five will roll off the tongues of Dawg fans as easily as the 4-deep RB core on the gridiron. That’s how much of a difference I think Mark Fox can make in Athens, and has already.

So Saturday after I left the game and stopped at a gas station to refill on the way back to Atlanta, I saw this photo tweeted out by the Tennessee beat writer for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, I had to get the dust out of my eyes.

It made me appreciate just how great a coach we have in Mark, and a man who loves the G just as much as I do. He and his family have embraced the University of Georgia and The Bulldog Nation as their own, and have made Athens their home.

It’s time for Dawg fans to do the same for Fox.

Next: J.J. Frazier is Proving Doubters Wrong