Wesmen Athletics has announced former student-athlete and longtime assistant coach Alyssa Cox as the new head coach of the UWinnipeg women’s basketball program.

Cox, 30, was named the successful candidate after the university conducted a national search and will become the fifth head coach in the program’s 51-year history.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience the program in a couple of different ways: as a player playing for five years and then shifting into the coaching role, so you get to see a lot of different aspects of the program and the job,” Cox said. “It’s going to be really exciting to be able to continue the history from what I’ve experienced and put my stamp on it as well and take it to the next level.”

Cox (nee Grant), who played five seasons for the Wesmen from 2009-10 to 2013-14, takes over from Tanya McKay, who coached the previous 26 seasons and stepped down earlier this spring.

“She was an unbelievable mentor for me,” Cox said. “It was really great, especially over the last two years or so, being able to work with her more closely and see all the different things that go into coaching a program like this. You pick up some things from all the coaches that you have the pleasure to work with and I think I’ve picked up a lot from Tanya in terms of in-game intensity and really putting your whole heart into the program that you’re coaching.”

Cox has spent the past six seasons as a lead assistant to McKay with the Wesmen.

A graduate of Oak Park High School, Cox has coached in the Basketball Manitoba provincial program since 2014 and is heading up the U18 Manitoba female team this summer at the Canada Summer Games in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

She got her first coaching assignment as an assistant on the U15 provincial team in 2014 and spent four seasons in the provincial program at both the U15 and U17 levels.

She also coached the Sturgeon Heights varsity girls program for two seasons.

“We are extremely excited to have Alyssa lead our program,” UWinnipeg director of athletics Dave Crook said. “A former five-year student-athlete with the Wesmen, it is rewarding to see her return to her roots and lead this program into a new era as one of the bright, young coaching talents in Western Canada.”

Cox has been working with the Wesmen players in an off-season training program since shortly after the team captured a silver medal at the U Sports national championship in April.

“In a lot of ways I feel like I’ve been laying the groundwork already,” she said, “and I’m very excited to now be able to take that on in a more formal capacity and begin starting to talk about next year.”

Source: https://wesmen.ca/general/2021-22/releases/20220523ylekwb

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