Big East hires Amber Cox

NEW YORK -- Amber Cox was looking for a new challenge.

After spending the past nine years working with the Phoenix Mercury, she decided to move on to something new. When the chance to work with Big East commissioner Val Ackerman popped up in the new Big East conference, Cox jumped at the chance.

"Nine years is a long time," Cox said. "I've been a part of two championships and the organization is in great shape. I felt like it was a good time for me to step away and do something new. It's been a great run. Getting back into the collegiate ranks was something I was excited about."

Cox was hired on Tuesday by the Big East to be its associate commissioner for women's basketball. Her duties will include scheduling, officiating, television, branding and marketing. She also will oversee the annual conference tournament, which will be held for the first time in Chicago in March next spring.

"She's got a little bit of a different profile then you see with this job in other places," Ackerman said. "She has a marketing background that will be a real help and she will bring to life some of the new approaches that women's basketball needs now at the college level."

Cox had been with the Mercury since 2005, becoming chief operating officer in 2010 and president in 2011.

"I can't stress enough how excited I am to do this with Val," Cox said. "She has such great vision and to be part of that to help grow women's basketball is great. I believe that many of the strategies used to promote women's basketball at the professional level can successfully be brought to bear on the college game, and I look forward to contributing as the Big East charts an innovative approach towards women's basketball excellence."

Before working with the Mercury, Cox served as assistant director of athletics at Columbia College in Missouri and as a sports information director for the American Midwest Conference (AMC).