Joseph Edward Cox was a stellar athlete at Stivers, playing in an era of multiple championships. Under the leadership of their new coach, Harry Wilhelm, the 1923 football team was undefeated except for a scoreless tie with Hamilton. Stivers traveled to the East Coast, defeating a strong Norfolk team which held the championship of three states. This victory allowed Stivers to claim the football national title in 1923 and again in 1924. Not to be outdone, the basketball team, also coached by Mr. Wilhelm, followed this feat by winning the basketball state championship in 1924 and the city title in 1925.
A tall, sturdy person, Joe used his height and stature to play tackle on the football varsity in 1923-24 and guard on the basketball team, garnering a spot on the Second Team All State. He sometimes played outfield on the baseball team; and when golf was introduced as a varsity sport, he placed second in a city tournament. Joe somehow found time to perform with the Boys’ Glee Club and also appeared in several theatrical performances throughout his school career.
After high school, Joe attended Ohio State University, playing basketball for three years. There is evidence that he played golf in later years: Joe’s name appeared in “Ripley’s Believe It or not” for making two holes in one on the same day and on the same hole at Community Golf Course. In 1933 Joe married Carolyn; the couple had no children. Joe entered the working world, joining GMC and rising through the ranks all the way to supervisor at Delco Products. He retired from General Motors after 40 years. Oftentimes, he would appear at Stivers to cheer the sports teams onward to victory – ever a loyal Tiger! Joe continued to volunteer in the Dayton community throughout his life until his death in 1996. He was survived by the children of his only sister, Elda Bowermeister, — June R. Wilhite, Rose Marie Penn, David Apple, Eddie Krieger and several great nieces and nephews.