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J.W. Cox named director of broadcasting, voice for UNI football, men’s basketball

CEDAR FALLS – UNI Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, LEARFIELD’s Panther Sports Properties, announced that J.W. Cox has been named director of broadcasting and the new “voice” for football and men’s basketball concurrent with the 2022-23 college athletics season.

Fans can hear Cox behind the mic beginning Sept. 3, when Panther football opens on the road against Air Force. He will handle play-by-play duties for football and men’s basketball, while serving on Panther Sports Properties’ team as director of broadcasting. Cox assumes the voice of the Panthers role held by Gary Rima for 29 years, and he will host the one-hour seasonal coaches’ shows and manage select digital content as well.

“J.W. is extremely talented, and we’re proud to have him join the UNI Panther family,” said Director of Athletics David Harris. “When Gary retired after basketball season, I did say he was leaving big shoes to fill in the booth – and J.W. wears those shoes. We found our voice, and we’re ecstatic to introduce him to fans with our first football game at Air Force Academy.”

Cox relocates to Cedar Falls from Bloomington, Minnesota, where he has been the play-by-play voice for St. Cloud State football and men’s and women’s basketball since 2016. He also handled the on-site direction for all technical and sales fulfillment aspects of the broadcasts. Additionally, Cox served the last five years with Minnesota News Network anchoring hourly newscasts for air on a statewide network of more than 60 stations. He also was the No. 2 play-by-play voice for television/radio simulcast for the St. Paul Saints Minor League Baseball Club and was the team’s digital studio host across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“I’m so excited to have the chance to tell the stories of UNI student-athletes to a passionate audience built by such a legend behind the mic. Gary Rima is impossible to replace, but I’m excited for all the Panther fans to get a chance to learn who I am. This is an opportunity I’ve worked towards my entire career and I can’t wait to get started. My wife and two daughters and I are so thrilled by the chance to join the Panther family and the community in the Cedar Valley.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome J.W. and his family to Cedar Falls and UNI,” said Brian Gabel, general manager for Panther Sports Properties, LEARFIELD’s local team dedicated to UNI. “J.W. has a versatile skill set and brings with him a wide range of experience calling football, basketball and baseball, plus he comes from a LEARFIELD partner school in St. Cloud State. We’re very excited for him to get started next month.”

Founded in 1876, the University of Northern Iowa is one of Iowa’s three public universities with more than 90 degree programs and a community of supportive faculty. UNI Athletics’ 17 intercollegiate programs compete at the Division I level and is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, the Missouri Valley Football Conference and a Big 12 affiliate. UNI Athletics takes pride in its role as a unifying force for our campus and community and serving as leaders in diversity and inclusion.

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