Occupation: Co-manager of Kroger, Watkins Road, Maryville
Family: Married to Whitney Shields Cox, and they have three children: Madison, 9, and 7-year-old twins, Carter and Caroline.
Lynn Cox’s most embarrassing moment involved standing in front of a high school gym full of students in his underwear.
“Brett Elmore pulled my shorts down while I was standing on the free throw line in a pre-game warm up. Then he steps on my shorts to where I couldn’t pull them up, and I was standing there in my underwear in front of the whole high school.”
Cox, a co-manager at the Kroger on Watkins Road, grew up in the Crab Orchard-Woody community near Crossville and graduated from Cumberland County High School in 1988. He played basketball at Vol State in Gallatin, Tenn., for a year and a half before he joined the Army National Guard in 1990.
In 1991 he went to Middle Tennessee State University, graduating in 1997 with bachelor’s degree in business. From there he worked for Mayfield Dairy in college and went to Kroger in 1998. He worked for Kroger four years, started a restaurant business that he operated for five years, and he recently returned to Kroger.
“Kroger is fast-paced, and I’m always interacting with people -- whether it is employees or customers. It is fun, and there’s never a dull moment,” he says.
Lynn met his wife, Whitney Shields, at MTSU. “The first time I met Whitney was when she was moving into her apartment. She was on second floor looking out the window, and I was on the ground when some friends introduced us,” he says. “A few weeks after that, we started dating, and we’ve been together ever since. We’ve been married since 1998.”
Cox says he and Whitney moved to Maryville to start their life and be close to her family.
“I love it. I would not live anywhere else. I tell people it is probably the best place in the world to raise a family, and it has endless opportunities for leisure family things to do, such as the mountains. We have Knoxville just down the road, and it is just a great place to be, with great school systems and good traditions.”
Here is Lynn Cox:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“I always tell people two quotes from the movie Christmas Vacation: ‘The lights aren’t twinkling, Clark,’ or, ‘I wouldn’t be more surprised if I woke up with my face sewn to the carpet.’”
What are you guilty of?
“Procrastination - I am bad about that. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”
What are you reading currently?
“Anything by Daniel Steele or ‘War and Peace.’ Just kidding. I’m reading ‘Sports llustrated.’ I’m not a book guy, I’m a magazine guy. I read newspapers a lot, too, and any retail-industry publication.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“I want to watch my kids graduate high school and college. I want to watch all of them start families, and I want to grow old with my wife.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“I’m loyal. My friends would tell you I’m loyal, and I would do anything in the world for them. I’m always there for my friends and my family.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would be more organized. I’ve tried seminars, reading materials about organization, and I just don’t get it. “
What is your passion?
“My family is my passion. That’s very cliché, but so true. It is the truth. That’s what I live for.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My late mother, Gence Cox. I would love to have long lunch with her with my kids and my wife because my mother didn’t have the opportunity to know my kids now.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“High school in the mid-1980s, the first week I got my drivers license. I had freedom. I got in my own car without my parents having to take me somewhere.
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My fire pit was pretty good. We’ve had so much fun sitting around that thing, just family and friends.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“The best advice my mother ever gave me, and she gave me a lot, was always be a good man, always be a good father and love your kids unconditionally and always put them first. She did that.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“Steve Shields has been someone I look up to and admire because he is the kind of guy you want to be like as a parent, husband and friend. He’s a good father and role model.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook, yes, Myspace and Twitter, no; I’ve caught up with some old friends through Facebook.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I was a bean packer at a bean shed when I was in high school, and it was awful. Beans would come down conveyor belt, and you packed the beans into a bushel container and put the lid on them and stacked them on pallet. I did it all summer for 12 to 14 hours a day. ”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“I liked ‘Hong Kong Fuey’ because he was cool.”
What irritates you?
“What irritates me are two-faced people and arrogant people - people who think they’re better than everybody else. We’re all just people.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“The Maryville/Alcoa football game at either Maryville or Alcoa. Everybody needs to see that. It is incredible.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Patience… patience, patience - be more patient.”
What is your greatest fear?
“My biggest fear is not being a good husband and father, not being a good person and not being a good provider. I guess I fear failing my family, that is the biggest thing. That is why I get up and go to work every morning.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“My video recorder…and no, it’s not a Beta.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“I would want to take the family to New York City for the weekend and see a Broadway play and shop in Chinatown and eat in Little Italy.”