Interview with Susan Bradley Cox, November 12, 1995
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummarySusan Bradley Cox grew up in Paducah, in western Kentucky. She recalls that she was a cheerleader in high school. She remembers the school had a good physical education program, but no competitive sports for girls, and no swimming pool. Cox taught swimming for the Red Cross at the public pool, at the country club, and Kentucky Lake. She remembers growing up as the only girl in a family of boys, that "she was a tomboy, but still a girl," and that the boys protected her. She recalls she did not have any interest in contact sports and enjoyed the competition of team sports, but preferred individual competition. Cox went to Florida Southern College for one semester in 1955 because she wanted to swim competitively, then transferred to the University of Kentucky her second semester. She joined the Blue Marlins, a synchronized swimming group. Cox describes her activities with this water ballet group. She majored in Physical Education, with a double minor in Biological Sciences and Psychology. Cox is a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She talks about her two mentors at U.K.; Bernard "Skeeter" Johnson, who she says "was ahead of his time," and Stella S. Gill, who was her supervisor for student teaching and the cheerleading sponsor. She wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy, but was discouraged by her mother. She earned a master's degree from U.K. in Guidance Counseling. She says the climate for women on campus was open, that opportunities for women on campus were equal and she was not discriminated against. Cox talks at great length about her experiences with the UK cheerleading squad. She was a U.K. cheerleader when U.K. won the men's NCAA basketball national title at Louisville, Kentucky in 1958. She mentions several players from that team, including Vernon Hatton and Adrian "Odie" Smith. She recalls that Coach Adolph Rupp had definite ideas regarding the cheerleading squad, and mentions some things they could and could not do. Later, the squad had two male cheerleaders. Cox coached the U.K. cheerleaders for ten years after she graduated from U.K., from 1962-1972, and mentions that Patricia and Priscilla Barnstable were on the team. She talks about her participation in the Triathlon in the 1960s, and how she was encouraged to do this by her husband. Cox describes how the Triathlon competition began in Lexington. She discusses innovative techniques she uses in school teaching such as exercising to music. Cox was involved with International Triathlon, Master Swimmer All-American, Triathlon All-American, participated in Ironman competition and was a member of the American team.
Terry L. Birdwhistell
Interview LC SubjectCox, Susan Bradley Cox, Susan Bradley--Interviews University of Kentucky University of Kentucky--History Athletics for women Sports. Feminism and sports. Athletics. Cheerleading. College athletes College environment College sports--Coaching College sports. College students--Attitudes. College students--Conduct of life. College students--Social conditions Universities and colleges. Women in higher education. Women--Education (Higher)
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Cox, Susan Bradley Interview by Maurice Clay. 12 Nov. 1995. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Cox, S.B. (1995, November 12). Interview by M. Clay. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Cox, Susan Bradley, interview by Maurice Clay. November 12, 1995, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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