Lee County A.D. Rob Williams said his boys and girls basketball programs --- which are off to a combined 4-10 start --- will get better once first-year coaches Tondra Davis and Kirven Davis have time to work with this year's players.
LEESBURG — The Lee County High School boys and girls basketball programs are being run by a new husband and wife team.
Kirven Davis was named the boys coach last spring, and his wife, Tondra Davis, got the girls head coaching job this summer after Fran McPherson — who had been Lee County’s most successful girls coach in the past 20 years — decided to step down. McPherson’s departure was preceded by her husband Tim’s dismissal as the boys head coach during the offseason.
So far early in the season, Lee has struggled mightily under the new regime.
“Fran decided to step down from basketball right at the tail-end of the school year,” Lee County athletic director Rob Williams said Tuesday. “We decided on (Tondra Davis) during the summer. It seemed like a good fit. Tondra has been the girls volleyball coach for the last couple of years and was the assistant girls basketball coach. Tondra does a good job with basketball.’’
The results so far, however, have not been what Williams or anyone in Leesburg expected.
Entering Tuesday’s game against Colquitt County — Kirven Davis’ former team that he was fired as the coach of two years ago after a 31-92 record in five seasons, including 1-19 his final year and 7-36 in his final two — Lee’s boys were 2-4 and had lost four of five after opening the season with a win against a one-win Webster County team. The girls, meanwhile, were also 2-4 entering Tuesday and were coming off a lopsided 39-point loss against Pelham, 58-19.
Williams said one of the reasons Lee’s basketball teams have gotten off to a slow start is because they have played just one home game entering Tuesday’s contest against Colquitt. Lee lost both games.
The girls team has had a lot of success in recent years — including a 21-9 record and trip to the state playoffs two years ago — while the boys are coming off a 4-16 season. Williams said he has faith in both Davises that they will still have success this year.
“We just have to give it some time to get his program in place,” Williams said. “We have already seen a lot of progress.”
The girls team had been to the playoffs two of the last three years, and the Lady Trojans hosted a playoff game for the first time in Lee’s history three years ago, then went 15-10 and reached the playoffs last year, as well. They were led by former Herald Super 6er DaQuenna Moore, who has since graduated, leaving this year’s girls team young and somewhat inexperienced.
Williams said losing Fran McPherson was a blow, but he expects the program to rise again just like it has before when there’s been coaching turnover.
“Fran was our most successful coach in recent years,’’ Williams said. “Debbie Bruner had some successful teams back in the late 1980s and early ’90s, but Fran was our most successful coach in recent years. Fran did a very good job for us.”
Attempts to reach Fran McPherson, who is still employed as a teacher at the school, for this story on Tuesday were unsuccessful.