SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — David Cox’s tenure as head coach of the URI Rams has come to an end.

12 Sports has confirmed Cox will not return to the program next season.

“Today is a tough day, as I have been informed by Administration that I will not return as the head coach at URI,” Cox said in a statement Friday afternoon. “It is disappointing news as I had hoped and expected to return to finish the job I started four years ago. But I respect the decision and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Cox’s departure follows an unceremonious exit from the Atlantic 10 Tournament and the Rams’ second straight sub-.500 season.

“David Cox is a first-class individual, and I am grateful for his hard work and the manner in which he represented the University throughout his time at Rhode Island,” URI Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn stated. “This is not a decision I take lightly, but a change is necessary. I have tremendous respect for David, and I wish nothing but the best for him and his family.”

Cox joined the program as an assistant coach in 2014 and was on staff for the Rams’ A10 Championship in 2017 and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018.

He was named head coach in spring 2018 after Dan Hurley left to take the helm at UConn.

In his four seasons as head coach, Cox amassed a 64-55 overall record and a 34-36 conference record, with no NCAA Tournament or NIT appearances.

“I have learned quite a bit in the eight years I’ve spent at Rhode Island,” Cox added. “I am certain that I will grow from those experiences, from winning championships to suffering tough losses. I will cherish my time here.

“I’d like to thank my family for all their love and support,” he continued. “I want to recognize my staff for their dedication to this program and players. Rhody Nation, you all have been so awesome in your support of the program, my family and myself. And to ALL the players who I have coached during my time in Kingston, know that I love you all and will forever cherish the memories.”

Bjorn said the search for Cox’s replacement is now underway.