SEWARD, Neb. – Now entering his second season as head wrestling coach at Concordia University, Levi Calhoun will have a new-look staff in 2019-20. The program has announced the hiring of Tyree Cox as its lead assistant. Cox is already on the job working with a Bulldog wrestling staff that also includes graduate assistant Peter Donchev. Concordia is coming off a season in which it shared the GPAC dual title.
Cox brings an understanding of the NAIA and GPAC wrestling landscapes having most recently served as an assistant coach at Northwestern College.
“We are excited to add Tyree to our coaching staff,” Calhoun said. “He brings in a wealth of wrestling knowledge and unmatched passion for the sport. Coach Cox has a strong desire to help our student-athletes improve on and off the mat. He has experience as both a competitor and coach in the NAIA and GPAC, and I am confident he will thrive here at Concordia and help us in our effort to elevate our program’s level of success.”
Wrote Cox in a statement, “I am very excited to be joining the Concordia University Bulldog family as an assistant coach. This job is an amazing opportunity and I am grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to the challenge of building upon the success that this program has already had and I believe that my experiences over the past 13 years in the sport will help me meet expectations already set in place here. I knew that Concordia University was a right fit for me after having met the faculty and staff here during my interview process. For me it is really about being part of building and continuing to grow something special here and adding value to a team and University that is focused on doing things in a way that I believe strongly in. I am incredibly thankful for Coach Calhoun, Director of Athletics Devin Smith and Associate Director of Athletics Angela Muller for this opportunity to grow in my coaching career.”
Cox had spent the previous three seasons as an assistant at Northwestern, his alma mater. The native of Lancaster, Calif., was hired on with the Red Raiders following a successful two-year run as a student-athlete in Orange City, Iowa. As a competitor at Northwestern, Cox twice qualified for the NAIA national championships and was a first team All-GPAC honoree. Cox put together a 28-9 overall record his senior season.
Prior to landing at Northwestern, Cox wrestled at and attended Cerritos College. While there, Cox qualified for the national championships twice and earned a place finish at the community college state tournament.
Tyree is the son of Tania O’Conner. He has a younger brother Troy O’Conner. Tyree earned his degree in kinesiology from Northwestern.
Cox steps into the role that had been held by Concordia alum Junior Lule, who left to take a job as assistant wrestling coach at North Idaho College. The Bulldogs have won a GPAC championship in four of the past five seasons.