This article is sponsored by Delta Air Lines.
Mark Fox knew what he wanted to do in life long before he accrued the experiences and ability necessary to be offered the role of head coach for the men’s basketball program at The University of Georgia.
Coach Fox sat down with us as part of our “Guiding Greatness” series of one-on-one interviews with college basketball coaches, presented by Delta, and told us that he has always wanted to be a coach.
“From as far back as I could ever remember, all I ever wanted to do was coach,” said Fox. “So I’ve been fortunate and blessed to be able to have that dream come true because it’s a tough road and a lot of people don’t get that opportunity.”
For Fox, he credits his family for guiding him to greatness. He says that they pushed him to be greater than he would’ve been alone.
“My dad was a coach and always loved college basketball,” said Fox. “There’s no question that in my life that the biggest influence has been my family. The combination of my older brothers and my parents drove me to be something greater than I would’ve been without them.”
Before taking the Georgia job, Fox enjoyed five successful seasons at the helm of Nevada, where he led his team to the postseason each year, including five NCAA Tournament appearances. In his first six years at Georgia in the SEC, Fox has made the NCAA Tournament twice.
“We’ve been to a couple NCAA Tournaments here at Georgia and the thrill of doing that drives you to want to do it again,” said Fox. “I think as a coach you get addicted to the next game, you get addicted to competition because you know the thrill of victory is out there.”
The thrill of victory is what gets Fox out of bed every morning, as well as shaping his players.
“There’s a lot of agony in defeat and a lot of hard work that goes into chasing that thrill but when you see the impact that you can have on young people’s lives at the same time as chasing that thrill, it’s what keeps you motivated and what gets you up early every day,” said Fox.
Helping develop the lives of young people is an endeavor that’s bigger than him.
“I think in coaching, you have to have a commitment to something greater than yourself,” said Fox.
Fox looks at who his players are when they grow up. Fox calls that the most rewarding thing in coaching.
“The impact you have on young people is really, at the end of the day, the most rewarding thing,” said Fox. “When you see guys age and start to have families and be the men you want them to be, we still are searching for the thrill of victory every day, but at the end of it we have to realize that our responsibility is to develop young people and to educate young people.”