Bobby Joe Cox came to Dayton from Crossville, TN. He attended Whittier grade school and then Patterson Elementary. He enrolled in Stivers in 1954 and joined the football team, filling in at the left guard position in every game his freshman and sophomore years until he became first string when Dick Hartle broke his leg. He also ran the quarter and mile relay in track his freshman year. Bobby and Jerry Bohannon were the only sophomores to receive varsity letters in football that year. Bobby’s career at Stivers was sidelined for the duration of his junior year which was spent at Fork Union Military School in Virginia, but he returned to Stivers his senior year, again playing football. However, Bobby’s greatest love in athletics is the sport of wrestling. He wrestled as a semi-pro during his late teens and early 20’s, but he judged himself too small to pursue a professional career in wrestling. “I considered myself to be a good player, just not great.”
Upon graduation, Bobby Joe became a member of the Dayton Police Department, working for a time with former team mates Dick Hartle, Danny Wheeler, and Ty Hardin. While working, he also attended the University of Dayton and received degrees in Criminal Justice and Police Administration. He then matriculated at night law school, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, and received a Juris Doctor degree. He retired as a sergeant from the police department after 12 1/2 years to become a trial lawyer for forty years in Dayton, primarily in criminal defense law. Bobby Joe never forgot his roots and the path he had traveled. According to his fellow attorneys who knew him best, he often provided free legal services to the poor and less fortunate citizens.
Through sheer grit and determination, Bobby Joe has become the best man he could be. With character, integrity and compassion for others, he has indeed achieved his goals. Shirley Coover and he were married during his senior year, announcing their marriage at the homecoming dance. This happily married couple has a daughter Theresa, a son, William and four grandchildren. He is now semi-retired and lives in the Dayton area with his wife of 56 years, Shirley.