NSULA– While Mark Fox’s time at Northwestern State may have been brief, the impact he had on the NSU athletic program, and especially the cross country and track and field teams he covered, will endure.
Fox, who began his graduate assistantship with the NSU Sports Information Department in August of 2019, died this past April after a lengthy illness. In recognition of his contributions to NSU Athletics, Mark’s parents, Denise and Mike, have established the “Mark Fox Track and Field/Cross Country Scholarship” through the NSU’s Demons Unlimited Foundation.
“While bittersweet, it is heartwarming and appropriate that Denise and Mike are creating this endowed scholarship that will create a permanent connection between Mark’s name and an athletic program which, in a short period of time, became a part of his life,” said NSU director of athletics Greg Burke. “Mark embraced the track and field and cross country programs with passion and energy, which I know meant a lot to the student-athletes and coaches. We are grateful to the Fox family for their generous support and continue to hold them, and Mark’s memory, in our thoughts and prayers.”
Fox wrote about the Demons and Lady Demons cross country teams in his first semester of graduate school while pursuing a master’s degree in sports administration.
Because NSU did not host a cross country meet during the 2019 season, Fox took his photography skills on the road and took pictures at meets near and far during the 2019 season.
“Mark threw himself into the sports information profession with great energy, and the dedication with which he pursued his craft was admirable,” said Jason Pugh, assistant athletics director for media relations. “Mark volunteered to make trips to out-of-state cross country meets to improve the coverage of that program, and he developed a kinship with those runners.
“It’s appropriate that his name be associated with that program as a testament to the care he gave to his coverage as well as the bonds he formed with those student-athletes in such a short time.”
Fox, an animal lover, arranged a service project with the cross country team to volunteer at the Natchitoches Humane Society, where Fox was an active member.
Mark’s father Michael said his son was extremely excited to start down the athletics career path.
“Mark got to know many of the student-athletes and merged his love of dogs into his NSU work by organizing dog walks/runs with the athletes,” Michael Fox said. “It was a definitely a hit with both the runners and the dogs.
“His energy and passion helped hundreds of dogs and cats find forever homes, and we are sure that he is now being licked and snuggled by countless dogs and cats as he too has crossed over the Rescue Rainbow Bridge.”
Donations to the “Mark Fox Track and Field/Cross Country Scholarship” can be made by visiting nsudemons.com/unlimited, navigating to the donation portion of the website and adding “Mark Fox” to the special instructions field.