Drake University announced today that men’s basketball coach Tom Davis is retiring after four seasons. The 68-year-old Davis capped his final year by leading the Bulldogs to a 17-15 record, their first winning season since 1987. Davis’ son Keno will take over as the coach at Drake after serving as an assistant to his dad the last four years.
Davis says he’s very excited about where they’ve come with the program and the future of Drake basketball. Tom Davis did not attend the announcement to give all the spotlight to his son. The elder Davis was out of coaching for four years after his contract was not renewed at Iowa. He then took the Drake job and owns a 598-335 record in 32 seasons that also included coaching at Lafayette, Boston College, Stanford and Iowa.
Keno Davis says he determined to become a coach in Iowa City. He says he was a graduate coach at Iowa and decided when he graduated that he wanted to coach. Keno says his dad told him he should re-think it, but he says his mind as made up. Keno went on to be an assistant for Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana, and then as an assistant to Gary Garner at Southeast Missouri State.
One year ago Drake announced that Keno would take over when his dad decided to retire. Davis says he didn’t know when it was going to happen, as his dad says he was going to coach as long as he was healthy enough and inspired. Davis says it wasn’t a matter of wins or loses, just when his dad felt it was time to retire. Keno Davis says he learned a lot from his dad while coaching with him at Drake. Davis says, "It’s obviously going to be the highlight of my career that I got to work with him those four years."
Tom Davis will remain on at the university as an assistant to the athletic director and will focus on growing the basketball season ticket base. Keno Davis was given a five-year contract, and says he believes this year’s winning season was just the start. He says a lot of people might think it’s a rebuilding year with the seniors they’ve lost, but Davis says they have a young team with a couple of top returning players in Clayton Korver and Josh Young.
Davis says they’ve had a good recruiting year and "everything is pointed in the right direction." Keno Davis says he will run some of the same fast-paced style play, and will try some new things. Davis says in the last four years he’s made a lot of suggestions to his dad already. Davis says his style will be like Bruce Pearl at Tennessee, a former assistant to his dad at Iowa, and Gary Williams at Maryland. Keno Davis is the 24th Drake head coach.