Alphonso Charles Cox was born in St. Petersburg. FL to Jessie Cox Sr. and Frances Cox.
Al was educated in Pinellas County Schools graduating in the 1986 Class of Dixie Hollins High School. He completed his secondary education and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology/Computer Science from Cumberland College in Kentucky, which later became the University of Cumberland. While at Cumberland College “Big Al” as he was affectionately called, played Wide Receiver and was a member of the infamous RESCUE SQUAD. When the team needed to put six on the board, it was the SQUAD to the RESCUE and “Big Al” was always the target.
In 1991, Al met Kim and the rest is history as they have been togeth- er ever since. They were married in 1994 and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He was a lovingly devoted and supportive father.
He loved his family and friends near and far and always wanted nothing short of the best for them. Al was both large in stature and in heart. He was a kind, gentle and generous person whose heart was pure and genuine and he was often referred to as a “Gentle Giant”.
He had many titles and he lived up to the expectation of each one of them: husband, father, Big Poppa, son, brother, uncle, God-daddy, coach, teammate, friend, co-worker, and the list goes on. He was well respected and loved. He was a confidant and an encourager. His attitude was always positive, and he never met a stranger. He was a real stand-up guy.
His commitment and dedication to excellence as well as his ability to influence and touch lives of those he met are evident in his service both professionally and in his community.
Al was a member of Turner Chapel AME Church and served as an usher and as a member of the Sons of Allen.
Al was employed by Manatee County Government for 20+ years as Senior System Analyst.
Al was also instrumental in the design, set-up, and maintenance of the computer labs at the 13th Av Dream Center.
Coach Al was one of the founding members of the Manatee Mustangs Football and Cheer program and served as the long-term Athletic Director. Under his leadership the Mustangs Sports Academy grew to offer RBI Baseball, USA Track and Field, AAU and USSSA Basketball. These programs are known for their competitiveness and stellar success. These programs boast National Champions in both Football and Basketball. World-Series Runner-Ups in Baseball, and many individual and team records for Track and Field. When the “Mustangs” are mentioned, or when they arrive to compete, it was sure that Coach Al was somewhere close.
Amassing many friendships and experiences and leaving an abundance of memories and knowledge, Coach Al ‘s life was the embodiment of sayings that he shared with those he modeled for such as “Leave no Doubt” “Hard Work Pays Off” “Finish Strong” “Don’t you Quit”, “You Got This” and others.
Coach Al could be counted on to “Hold the Rope”, you could count on him in trial or triumph, victory, or defeat. It is these lessons and attitudes that tramscended from the field, diamond, court, or track to his everyday life
Al was preceded in death by his father, Jessie Cox, Sr. brothers, Jessie Cox, Jr and William Cox and sister Betty Cox.
Al leaves to cherish fond memories:
Wife: Kim A. Strong-Cox
Children: Amaad (Michelle) Strong, Khalyd Cox and K’Licia Strong-Cox.
Grand Children: Bryan, Nevaeh, Khawia, Malik and Kellani
Mother: Frances Cox
Brother: Rodney Cox
Brother-In-Law: Dwayne Strong
Sisters-in-Law: Denise Cox, Wendy Strong, Becky (Bobby) Wagner, Jolynn (Troy) Wortham
God Children: Alexis Danielle Henri and McKinley Kent
Special Friends: Harold Wilson, Keith Pray, Patrick Carnegie, Dwayne Brown, Rod Lodge, Andre Mays and Vince Taylor
Loving aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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