Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“Women at the Gymnasium: OAC Women's Athletics and Physical Education, 1880s-1940,” Ted Cox

November 7, 2018

Speaker Biography

Ted Cox
Ted Cox

“Women at the Gymnasium: OAC Women's Athletics and Physical Education, 1880s-1940”  Watch Video

Ted Cox was born in 1947 in Eugene, Oregon. As a student, he competed in track and field for Montclair High School, a passion that he continued to pursue during his college years, adding football and rugby later. Cox attended Chaffey Junior College for two years, and then transferred to La Verne College, graduating in 1969. When he was finished he put in an application to the Peace Corps and was selected, traveling to Sierra Leone and spending two years teaching high school science and physical education. As his tour came to a close, Cox was offered a different Peace Corps position, this time as the national track and field coach for Belize, a post that he accepted.

The two years that Cox spent in Belize made a big impact on his life. Not only was he afforded the opportunity to train athletes and raise the prominence of athletics in the country, but he also led a data gathering project that would later form the heart of his master's thesis: developing standards for fitness parameters for youth in Belize and contrasting these guidelines with similar efforts in the United States. Cox left Belize in August 1973 and enrolled at Oregon State to start graduate work in Physical Education. A few weeks after arriving in Corvallis, the Director of Women's Athletics approached Cox and asked if he would be willing to coach OSU's women's volleyball team, the first volleyball team at the university to be formed under the new collegiate rules governed by Title IX. Cox agreed and remained in this role for two years.

After Cox graduated from OSU in 1975, he found work at Linn-Benton Community College teaching first aid classes and physical education, and he also took a job at a restaurant in Corvallis. After a couple of years, he decided to open his own restaurant, and in 1977 he opened the doors to the Old World Deli, housed in a historic building in downtown Corvallis. Cox owned and operated this business until his retirement in 2020.

The transcribed video of an oral history interview conducted with Cox is available online. So too is the finding aid for the Oregon Trail Brewery Records (MSS OregonTrail), a component of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at SCARC.