Movin' on up
ROCK HILL, South Carolina – Former Spruce Pine resident Dave Davis has left his head coaching job at Newberry College to become the Associate Head Coach at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Davis, 57, said the decision to leave Newberry after seven seasons was an emotional one.
“The Newberry College experience was incredible, and one I never thought I would leave,” Davis said. “The opportunity to work with (head coach) Pat Kelsey and his staff at Winthrop was unbelievable, and the complete reason we made this move. The more we talked, the more excited Pam and I got to join a first-class coach, husband, father and mentor to young people.”
Davis notched 486 career wins during his nine seasons at Newberry and the team led the South Atlantic Conference in scoring seven times.
“There is not a more respected and well-liked college coach in America than Dave Davis, especially in the southeast,” Kelsey said. “His relationships with coaches at all levels is amazing, as is the tree of coaches that he has developed under him. It is very difficult in our profession to be as successful as Dave and have no enemies. That’s why he is special. He has over 450 wins at the collegiate level and is one of the most innovative basketball minds I know. His hire is a coup for our program.”
Davis grew up in the city of Derry, New Hampshire, about 40 miles north of Boston. His father, the late Clyde Davis, was transferred to the former Ellen Knitting Mills and the family moved to Spruce Pine in 1977.
Davis played basketball his junior and senior years at Mitchell High School under former coach Phil McKinney and was part of the first graduating class of what he calls “the new” Mitchell High School. His mother, Joanne, still lives in Spruce Pine.
Before becoming head coach at Newberry, Davis served as head coach at Pfeiffer University for 14 seasons. He accumulated a record of 284-124, NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2000 and 2004 and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2004. Davis was named what was then known as the Carolina-Virginias Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2004. He was also named the NCAA East Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.
Davis was the head coach at Barton College when the team of his recruits won a record 25 games before he was named head coach at Pfeiffer.
He received his first head coaching position in 1991 at his alma mater, Warren Wilson College, where he led the Owls to their highest win total in 15 years.
Davis earned his bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson in 1983, a master’s degree from Gardner-Webb in 1993 and an educational specialist degree from Liberty University in 2009.
As a player at Warren Wilson, he was a four-year starter and was on two conference championship teams. He is Warren Wilson’s all-time assist leader.
Davis has a list of former assistants that includes seven Division I coaches.
Winthrop competes on the Division I level in the NCAA and is a charter member of the Big South Conference. Winthrop’s teams are known as the Eagles, and their colors are garnet and gold.