OXFORD, Ohio - Larry Cox was approved as the next Talawanda High School head football coach Monday night.
"The administrative support and the community support - it's been awesome," Cox told WCPO. "They've been nothing but great in every respect. It's a natural fit."
Cox, the former longtime Lakota West head football coach, succeeds J.D. Vonderheide, who left the Talawanda football program in November after seven seasons.
"We are overwhelmed with excitement with the hiring of Coach Cox as our next head football coach," Talawanda Athletic Director West Cole said. "He has had tremendous success as a head coach, he has a great knowledge of the game of football, he is a motivator, and he brings to us a winning attitude. We feel this is a fantastic hire for our entire athletic program at Talawanda. We
are excited for him to meet our kids and get started."
Cox plans to have a meeting on Tuesday after school to meet the football players. The school will introduce him at halftime of this Friday’s boys' basketball game versus Harrison.
Talawanda, a Division II program, had a 5-35 record since the 2015 season. The team was 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the Southwest Ohio Conference this past season.
Cox stepped down from Lakota West in May after 21 seasons as the Firebirds’ head coach. He's looking forward to a "fresh start" in coaching the Brave after visiting 10 high school football programs during the fall and learning tips from those coaches in how they conduct practices.
He added he feels re-energized in taking over the Talawanda program.
"Their facilities are phenomenal," Cox said. "It's really, really a special place. It's really a great academic school."
Talawanda will open the 2019 season against visiting Preble Shawnee, followed by a Week 2 matchup against visiting Badin. Non-conference games against Eaton and New Richmond conclude the first four weeks.
Cox served as the Lakota West coach beginning in 1997 and racked up a 114-103 record at the school. He's excited to head to SWOC.
"Everything is fresh and new and I'm excited," Cox said.
Cox led Lakota West to the Greater Miami Conference co-championship in 2009 and 2013. The Firebirds qualified for the Division I playoffs in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2014, and they made it to the regional semifinals in 2014.
Former Colerain football coach Tom Bolden was named the Lakota West head football coach Dec. 7. Bolden succeeds former interim coach Jeff Wadl.