DURHAM, N.C. - Former Blue Devil All-America halfback and Duke Athletics Hall of Fame member Billy Cox passed away on Sunday at the age of 88.
Cox, a native of Mount Airy, N.C., lettered three seasons (1948-49-50) for the Blue Devils under head coach Wallace Wade. A member of both the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame (inducted in 1978) and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (1989), Cox was a two-time All-America selection, earning honorable mention accolades as a junior and a first team citation following his senior campaign.
In 1950, Cox captained Duke to a 7-3 overall record after throwing for a then-school single-season record 1,428 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for an additional 567 yards. On November 4, 1950, against Georgia Tech, Cox rallied the Blue Devils from a 21-0 deficit by throwing for 133 yards and rushing for 144 yards in a 30-21 victory.
For his career, Cox completed 186-of-382 (.487) pass attempts for 2,455 yards with 14 touchdowns, rushed 402 times for 1,255 (3.12) yards and 15 touchdowns and punted 113 times for 4,142 yards (36.65). His 3,710 yards of total offense stood as Duke's all-time record until Leo Hart eclipsed the standard in 1969. In addition to his All-America honors, Cox was a two-time All-Southern Conference choice and MVP of the Blue Devils in 1950.
Cox, who also lettered one season (1951) in track and field, graduated from Duke in 1951 with a degree in history. He was an eighth round selection of the Washington Redskins in the 1951 NFL Draft and played three professional seasons (1951-52-55) with the club.