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Campbellsville High School head basketball coach Tim Davis enters his 16th season with the Eagles, and his 31st season in coaching overall, needing just three more wins to reach the 500-win plateau.
In a time where head coaching positions are seemingly a revolving door, few coaches stay with one program as long as Davis has.
Davis says that it is the nature of coaches to take one job in hopes that it will lead toward another.
“There are a lot of coaches that look to take the first job that they can get, build on it and then move on to a bigger school.”
Davis himself has been approached about coaching opportunities at other schools, but he says his situation at CHS is as good as any in the state.
“Our school system has always made a commitment to the athletic program and been very supportive,” he said. “We have support starting with Superintendent Mike Deaton, the board, teachers, students and their families. That means something and is important to me.”
He also says that staying with one team and one school has major advantages when running a team.
“Staying at one program for a long period of time helps build consistency with the program, your staff and players. If you ask any former player or current senior, they know what is expected of them, our philosophy, style of play, what and how we are going to practice. I think these things have helped us be successful.”
Thomas Downs, a former player for Davis, agrees with the coach and says that playing for a coach who has been there for so many years makes it easier to buy into what the coach is teaching.
“Everything coach would tell us to do, we did,” Downs said. “It is easy to trust a coach who has won a state title (Marion County in 1993) and been coaching for so long. You know that he knows what he is doing.”
Former CHS athletics director Jim Hardy was a part of the committee that first hired Davis in 1993. Hardy and Davis worked together for 14 years and he says Davis is the best coach he has ever been around.
“He gets every ounce of talent and effort out of all of his players and is even able to get players to do more than they thought they were capable of.”
Hardy also says that Davis’ work ethic and teaching abilities are what has allowed him to coach at a high level for so long. Davis also directed the Kentucky All Stars to a split in their annual series with Indiana in 2008 after being an assistant in 2007.
“He is not only a great coach but a great teacher as well. He is unbelievably organized and because of that is very efficient with all the work he has to do.”
According to the KHSAA website, the 497 wins ranks Davis seventh among active coaches in the state and leaves him three wins shy of becoming the 41st coach to win 500 games in state history.
“It makes me feel grateful of how fortunate that I have been over the last 30 years to have great players and people to work with.”
While coaches today seem to be on the hot seat the day they are hired, Central Kentucky is no stranger to long-tenured coaches.
Current TCHS baseball coach Jeff Gumm has been with the Cardinals for 25 years. His father coached baseball at Green County High School for more than 40 years and won more than 1,000 games.
Former Campbellsville University Women’s basketball coach Donna Wise led the Lady Tigers for 32 years before retiring while Lou Cunningham paced the sideline for the men’s team for a total of 25 seasons. Presently, baseball coach Beauford Sanders enters his 21st season as the head of Tiger baseball.
While these coaches may be a dying breed, Campbellsville has called itself home to some of the most dedicated and loyal coaches in the state at both the high school and collegiate levels.