Retiring Drake basketball coach Tom Davis talked today about his decision to step down and hand the program over to his son Keno. Davis says he went through the same evaluation he’s gone through each of the four years he coached at the school.
Davis says he made the decision every year whether he would continue coaching, but the last three years the decision got no publicity. Davis says each year the job was getting harder on him mentally and physically, and as he looked at the team Davis said he thought it was a good time to make the move. Davis left the University of Iowa eight years ago after his contract was not renewed, and was out of coaching for four years before taking the Drake job.
Davis says he went into the Drake job with a new attitude. Davis says: "I was doing this ’cause I wanted to do it. It wasn’t because I had to do it, I chose to do it, and therefore it was fun. Now a lot of that had to do with Drake, and I think the low expectations since they hadn’t won in so long. And the people weren’t spoiled by success,quite the opposite obviously just the opposite. So, every little step forward we could take, people appreciated it." Davis says having his son Keno was also part of it and something he really enjoyed.
Davis says the administration embraced him and that also made the job fun. Davis says he doesn’t know how you could work for an administration that had "a better approach to what you were doing and how you were doing it." Davis says he enjoyed the whole experience and will miss it. Davis was asked how he’d like to be remembered as a coach.
Davis says he started out as a teacher and although the subjects changed, he stayed a teacher and that’s how he’d like to be remembered. Davis will stay on at Drake as an assistant to the athletic director at the request of Drake’s president and athletic director. Davis says he certainly has some interest in the program and says nothing has been defined yet, but he’ll do whatever he can to lend his experience to be a benefit to Drake.
Davis says he won’t be on the bench anymore, but will lend support to the team any way he can. Davis says he doesn’t want to be intrusive or inhibiting what Keno has to do to grow the program. Davis says he doesn’t want to be around and make it seem like he’s looking over Keno’s shoulder.
Davis led Drake to a 17-15 record this year, the first winning season at Drake since 1987. Davis also coached at Lafayette, Boston College and Stanford along with his stops at Iowa and Drake. Davis built a 598-335 record in 32 seasons.