New goals: Returning coach Rusty Cox, son to head Moffat County boys soccer
With turnover happening among several of its sports teams, Moffat County High School will see some new faces this school year, but for the boys soccer program, the Bulldogs will be welcoming back not one but two familiar folks.
Rusty Cox was recently hired as the head coach for boys soccer, returning to a role he held for six years.
Rusty oversaw the team from 2008 to 2013, with then-girls coach Harry Tripp taking on both groups in fall 2014. With Tripp and his family moving to Arizona this spring, the former coach is back in action.
Among Rusty’s accomplishments during his tenure was Moffat County boys soccer’s last playoff appearance in 2010. While the postseason is a mark he would like to hit again, right now he’s focused on starting from the ground up.
“My focus as a coach, first and foremost, is don’t get ahead of yourself, one opponent at a time. Take it game by game, not by season,” he said. “Step one, we start open field. Step two, we move to two-a-day practices, except this year we’ll be doing a soccer camp starting Monday the 14th. Step three is our first game. That’ll be our focus, we’re not focused on the end of the year. It’s a long season with some bumps in the road, and those bumps are nothing more than an opportunity to learn.”
Currently, Rusty will only coach the boys team, while a new girls coach has yet to be finalized.
Also joining the head coach is one of his old players. Son Bryant Cox, who graduated MCHS in 2013, was part of the Dogs’ soccer team during his time at the school.
It was Bryant’s time in post-high school athletics that led to his dad stepping down as a coach.
“The only reason I ever left was to watch my boy play college ball, it’s not really an opportunity you get a lot,” Rusty said.
Younger son Christopher will also be on the roster this season as a Bulldog freshman, while Bryant — who played two years for Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs — brings his expertise on the defensive side of the ball as an assistant coach.
“It’s definitely a shock, a change of mindset, but I’m ready to do everything I can to help this team and the school become better again,” Bryant said.
He will also be overseeing the team’s physical wellbeing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fitness and health promotion, which will help him focus on training, nutrition and movement with players.
Rusty noted that maintaining healthy bodies is a priority, and preparing for some of the harsher heat conditions will be an important strategy.
“It’s a long, brutal season, and he’ll be helping us with that, it’s a huge aspect to this game,” Rusty said. “Without a team that’s healthy, you don’t have nothing.”
He added that the pressure is more on himself and Bryant than the players.
“I’m the one stepping in, they’ve proven themselves and done well last year,” he said. “We’re the ones who need to prove ourselves and gain their trust and play the way we ask.”
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