The emotion felt by Georgia men’s basketball head coach Mark Fox on Wednesday went far beyond the excitement of toppling a top-25 opponent.
Wednesday night’s game against Missouri was the first for Fox after his father, Raymond, died Friday at age 78 after losing a long battle with lung disease.
The No. 21-ranked Tigers carried an NCAA-best 26-game home winning streak into the game, but Georgia, which entered the game without a win over a major-conference team, shocked the fans in Columbia by taking down Mizzou 70-64 in overtime.
Fox, who was overcome with emotion on the bench as the final seconds ticked down, told the Athens Banner-Herald earlier in the week that taking some time away from the team was never an option for him.
“Friday before the game, I might have thought for 10 seconds I should leave and go say my goodbyes,” he said. “Ten seconds later, I knew he wouldn’t want me to do that. My dad spent his life working with young people and he didn’t even want his services to be during the season. He wanted me to coach my team. It would be one the first times I didn’t listen.”
Georgia coach Mark Fox, who lost his dad Friday, shares an emotional moment with a player after tonight's upset win: http://t.co/8BuNf5A1Lq—
NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 09, 2014
Fox personally thanked UGA fans for their support in a tweet after the win.
Thank u 4 the support. My dad would've loved 2night's battle. I'm proud of our team-they raised the flag! Fly it proud &go back2work for Sat—
Mark Fox (@coachmarkfox) January 09, 2014