UTSA’s Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, Aaron Fox, will be needing a larger office and storage unit in the near future.
After earning a sixth consecutive Southland Conference Indoor Coach of the Year award and the South Central Region Coach of the Year for the second time in four years, Coach Fox – and his hardware – seem to have outgrown their portable-building office space.
The Torrence, Calif. native grew up outside of Flagstaff, Ariz., where he excelled in track and field during his high school years. His college career was cut short after a series of knee injuries at UT Austin.
Coach Fox recently sat down with The Paisano to discuss life – in the winning lane.
How did you get your start in coaching?
After I graduated [from UT, in 1999], I came to San Antonio and was doing some odds and ends things – still trying to figure out what I was going to do – and I said to myself ‘Ok, I want to get back in the sport’. So I came over to UTSA and asked the coaches if they needed any help. Que McMaster, the [track and field] head coach at the time, said to me ‘Ya, I’d love to have you, but I can’t pay you’. So I volunteered my time for a year, and I guess I did a good enough job for them because the next year I was hired on as an assistant coach. Eventually Que moved on and they put me in charge of the men’s team. Then, coach [James] Blackwood retired and they combined the programs under me.
What is the best part of being a coach at UTSA?
The transformation that has happened in the 10 years that I’ve been here is amazing. Being part of this place, to see it grow, setting the legacy, starting the tradition, I’ve really enjoyed that. It’s been a fun ride here at UTSA, I enjoy it here and you know, I can see myself staying here for my entire coaching career.
If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
Well, I really haven’t thought about doing anything else besides coaching [laughs]. In college, though, I did some DJ’ing on the side. I’ve actually dealt with producing music, so maybe I would have pursued musical-type stuff a little bit more.
Who has been your biggest influence?
Bubba Thornton, my head coach at the University of Texas; he’s someone I still call on a weekly basis. He’s accomplished everything in the sport. He’s been an Olympic coach, so he’s a guy that’s full of knowledge and has done a great job mentoring me throughout the years.
What does your old coach, Bubba Thornton, think of all your success?
He loves it. I don’t know how much he likes it when I beat him out on an award [laughs], but he’s definitely happy for me.
What is your favorite memory of being involved in athletics, as coach or player?
It was watching that mile relay in 2006 – watching the guys come down the back stretch and knowing that if we were in a certain spot, we had the championship won. That’s always in my mind when I think of that championship. It’s always a struggle to get that first one – and every [championship] past that is a special moment too – but that first one that you’ve worked so hard for, that’s probably the best moment a coach has.