The home of Oklahoma Baptist University baseball will now be known as Bobby Cox Field at Ford Park. The university made the announcement Saturday as Bison alumni gathered to honor Hall of Fame coach Bobby Cox and unveil the facility's new state-of-the-art Daktronics video board.
"For 35 years, Bobby Cox has been synonymous with Bison baseball," said OBU director of athletics Robert Davenport. "It was only fitting that we honor his contributions to our athletics program and university by naming the field after him."
The winningest coach in Oklahoma Baptist athletics history, Cox led the Bison to four NAIA World Series appearances, two NCCAA national championships, a Great American Conference tournament title and back-to-back NCAA regional berths.
With a career record of 1,378-643 (.682), Cox never had a losing season in 35 years at the helm of the OBU baseball team.
He is the only coach to take the Bison to the NAIA World Series, accomplishing the feat in 1989, 1996, 2011 and 2014. The team also reached the NAIA Opening Round in 2012 and 2013.
Competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association during OBU's transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II level, his team won back-to-back NCCAA World Series titles in 2016 and 2017.
After overseeing the program's successful transition to Division II, Cox led the Bison to NCAA Central Regional berths in both of their first two years of NCAA postseason eligibility in 2018 and 2019.
"It's humbling and unexpected," said Cox. "It's a testament to the young men who have come through and played for me, and the coaches that have helped me. It's just a great honor. Hard to believe."
"I'd like to especially thank Robert Davenport for his vision for the baseball program and for our athletics department," Cox said. "Whether it's facilities or anything else, his response has always been 'We'll find a way to make it happen,' and you can see the future of this program is really bright thanks to his leadership and commitment."
In addition to renaming the field, the baseball program also retired Cox's number 19 jersey and unveiled a special commemorative sign on the wall in right centerfield.
During his career on Bison Hill, Cox coached 30 All-Americans, two NAIA Players of the Year and 22 Major League Baseball draftees. On April 25, pitcher Taylor Hearn became the first former Bison to make his major league debut, starting for the Texas Rangers against the Seattle Mariners.
Cox, who was inducted into OBU's Hall of Fame in 1996 and the NAIA Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011, was named Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1986, 1996, 2011, and 2014; District 9 Coach of the Year in 1986, 1989 and 1991; Area 3 Coach of the Year in 1989; Great Plains Region Coach of the Year in 1996 and Region Coach of the Year in 2011. He was named NCCAA Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017.
The Bison baseball team plays its first official game at Bobby Cox Field at Ford on Friday, Jan. 31, as OBU hosts Missouri Western State in a three-game series to open the 2020 season.