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SFU professor the first psychologist inducted into BC Sports Hall of Fame

David Cox was formally inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame on June 9, 2022.
SFU psychology professor and renowned sports psychologist David Cox during his induction to the BC Sports Hall of Fame on June 9, 2022.

Renowned sports psychologist David Cox has received an honour of a lifetime. 

Cox, who has taught in Simon Fraser University's (SFU) clinical psychology program for more than 35 years, became the first sports psychologist to be named to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

He was officially inducted last Thursday (June 9) with the 2021 class in the builder-coach category. 

"When I got the call last fall, I found it pretty emotional, far more than I had anticipated," Cox said in a statement from SFU

"It's an important honour for me, however, I think it is more important for sport science/medicine and others who work in support of athletes and teams. It’s huge for me and for my profession."

Throughout his career, Cox has worked with provincial and national sports organizations, as well as numerous elite Canadian athletes like Olympic gold medallist and SFU alumni Carol Huynh, tennis pro Grant Connell and middle-distance runner Leah Pells.

Many of his clients are also being inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. 

To date, he still works with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Cox has also worked with the Vancouver Canucks, Canada Basketball, Tennis Canada, Canada Soccer, Skate Canada, Rugby Canada, Canada Softball, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada Snowboard, Canadian Curling Association and SFU. 

Cox explains his earliest sports memories involved soccer, rugby and basketball, but says being introduced to tennis at age 11 was the most significant. 

"That was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me because it really changed my life in terms of athletics. I started to play tennis and I loved the game." 

He would go on to work with one of Canada’s premier tennis superstars, Grant Connell, who reportedly noted, "when David travelled with me on the tour, we achieved more firsts for Canada than in any other era.”

In a BC Hall of Fame feature story, Cox explained he's a big fan of excellence. 

"What are the things that people have who achieve excellence? What's the key? Excellence is determined by factors such as the opportunity to train and work, motivation, and support.

"The two big issues are belief and work ethic. What binds it all together? You must have a passion for what you do. Passion is huge.”

Other 2021 BC Sports Hall of Fame class members include: 

  • Jason Delesalle - Athlete
  • Gerry Gilmore - Athlete
  • Dale Mitchell - Athlete
  • Gino Odjick - Athlete
  • Eli Pasquale - Athlete
  • Judy Broom - Builder
  • Kelly Mann - Builder
  • 1961-62 Vancouver Firefighters Men's Soccer - Team
  • Gene Kiniski - Pioneer
  • Karin Larsen - Media
  • Ron Jones - W.A.C. Bennett Award