After leading Drake to a record setting season Keno Davis is moving on. The 36-year-old Davis was introduced on Tuesday as the new head coach at Providence College. Davis was named the national coach of the year after leading the Bulldogs to a 28-5 record and the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles.
Drake also appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1971. Athletic director Sandy Hatfield-Clubb does not feel the departure of the head coach will halt the momentum the program has built. She says there’s a pause "because it’s a shock and it’s sad," but she says it doesn’t change the mood or enthusiasm for the program with what they’ve accomplished.
Hatfield-Clubb says it was the right situation for Davis and a counter offer was not going to keep him at Drake. Hatfield-Clubb says the decision wasn’t about money, and there wasn’t anything in a contract that they could do to keep Davis. She says he’s returning to the area where he grew up.
Davis was at Drake for five years, the first four as an an assistant under his father Dr. Tom Davis and Hatfield-Clubb says the job is a much more attractive one now. Hatfield-Club says the two have taken the Drake job from a good one to a great job.
Drake University president David Maxwell says he was not surprised that other schools would pursue Davis. Maxwell says when you see somebody accomplish what Keno accomplished in his first year, with six coach of the year awards, he says you expect that the "birds will be circling." Maxwell says they hoped that something wouldn’t come along that would take him away, but it did.
Maxwell says Drake fans should not be bitter about Davis leaving after just one season as head coach. "Keno and his dad did wonderful things for us for the last five years," Maxwell says. He says their slogan is "Building a Winning Legacy," and they are beginning to see what that means in the legacy build by Keno.
Maxwell says while they will always do what they can to retain coaches the reality is when programs like Drake succeed they will have coaches move on. Maxwell says he would like to have a coach in place for 25 year, but realizes that’s not possible.