NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

August 15, 2013

Amesbury's Cox earns promotion with BBBSLI

By Dan Guttenplan
Sports Editor

---- — During Mark Cox’s prolific athletic career in the late 1980s and early ’90s, he was known as “The Franchise.”

Now, he is the CEO.

Cox, an Amesbury High alumnus, recently earned a promotion to chief executive officer of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island after serving as the chief development officer for the last six years. He will oversee nearly 100 employees and manage a $1.5 million budget for the nonprofit agency.

“The big difference is the number of employees I’ll be overseeing,” Cox said. “On the program side, I was only overseeing 11 employees. We have 77 full- and part-time employees at the donation center.”

Cox was one of Amesbury’s top athletes prior to his graduation from the high school in 1987. He was a three-sport (football, basketball, baseball) star, although football was always his top sport. He was named MVP of the Amesbury team as a senior.

Cox attended Hofstra University from 1988 to 1992. He continued his football career and also took up a new sport, lacrosse. As a senior, he earned “Most Outstanding Player” in football, along with the nicknames, “The Franchise,” and “Lunchpail Kid from Amesbury.”

“I’m definitely a football guy,” Cox said. “I had never played lacrosse before Hofstra. It’s a much different game now. Twenty years ago, the coach was looking for athletic kids, and I was one of the bigger, faster kids on the football team. They wanted athletes on the field, so they asked me to try out.”

After graduating, Cox served as the associate director of Athletics for External Affairs at Hofstra. He held that position for 14 years before moving to BBBSLI.

“I’d been doing fundraising for 14 years at Hofstra,” Cox said. “They kept giving me more departments to oversee. After 14 years, I was looking for a new opportunity. I went from higher education to the not-for-profit world.”

In his previous role with BBBSLI, Cox implemented the Annual Walk for Kids’ Sake at Jones Beach and several poker fundraisers. He expects to fill that position by Sept. 15, but in the meantime, he is doing two jobs.

“I wouldn’t say there’s anything I want to change in particular as CEO,” Cox said. “Obviously, the goal is to raise revenue and decrease expenses to make the organization more profitable. I want to change the atmosphere to make it more of a team atmosphere.”