INDIANOLA, Iowa - Following a five-year stint, TJ Cox will step down as the head men's tennis coach at Simpson, Director of Athletics Brian Niemuth announced. Cox, a counselor at West Des Moines Valley High School, will take over as the head boys tennis coach at Valley.
"We would like to thank TJ for his service to the men's tennis program over the past five years," Niemuth said. "He did a great job of developing our student-athletes on the court and off. We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors."
A search for Cox's replacement is currently underway. Bob Nutgrass, a former Simpson tennis coach and current Assistant Athletic Director and professor in the Sport Sciences and Health Education Department, will oversee the program until a replacement is found.
Cox posted a 31-71 mark since taking over in 2011 and is ranked third on Simpson's all-time wins list. His final season may have been his best, as the Storm went 10-11, the program's first 10-win season in 12 years. Simpson qualified for the Iowa Conference Automatic Qualifier Tournament once during Cox's tenure, going 8-13 in 2013-14 and taking fifth at the team tournament.
"I would like to express my gratitude to the Simpson College community, administration, athletic staff and especially my players," Cox said. "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to watch the program grow over the last five years. It has been a pleasure to watch my players develop on the court, but even more so to watch them develop as young men. The hard work and dedication of the team is something I'm proud to have been a part of."
Three players earned honorable mention all-conference honors under Cox: Alex Hook (2013-14), Zach Kusick (2014, 2016) and Peter Rietgraf (2015). Rietgraf and Kusick finished their careers as two of Simpson's winningest singles players, as Rietgraf ranks third with 40 career wins and Kusick ranks eighth with 35. The duo is also among the top doubles players, as Rietgraf ranks fourth with 36 career wins and Kusick ranks fifth with 34.
The Storm begin their fall season Sept. 10 against Bethany Lutheran in Indianola.