LEESBURG — Last season as an assistant coach at Terrell County, Kirven Davis walked through the Lee County gymnasium and caught a glimpse of the 1985 boys basketball state championship banner.
Davis, who was unanimously approved by the Lee County School Board on Monday to replace Tim McPherson as head coach of the Trojans, will use that state championship to motivate a struggling program.
“If you weren’t from this area, you never would have guessed they won a state title,” he said. “Part of kids doing better is when they can see that something like that is attainable. My hope is to piggy back on the fact that they do have basketball tradition.”
Davis, a 1988 Dougherty grad and a 1993 Albany State grad, coached at Colquitt County from 2005 to 2011 and was an assistant coach last season at Terrell County.
Lee County athletic director Rob Williams said hiring Davis, who was one of 40 applicants and six who were called back for an interview, was a no-brainer.
“We are excited to get him here,” Williams said. “We want to put our basketball program back to where it is relevant along with our other athletic teams.”
The Trojans struggled under McPherson, who finished with a 12-73 record in his four years as head coach. McPherson’s wife, Fran, will remain the head girls basketball coach.
“We appreciate what Tim has done for our program,” Williams said. “It was time to go in a different direction.”
Davis, the older brother of Monroe basketball coach Marquis Davis, was exactly what Lee County was looking for.
“There is no question about his enthusiasm for the game of basketball, his vision and the plan that he has,” Williams said. “The plan is to develop these kids and get them to believe in the program and believe in themselves. He wants to get going this summer and play a lot of games this summer. The other big thing is that he is defensive minded.”
Davis, who played small forward at Dougherty and Albany State, said he has always been defensive minded.
“I owe a lot of that to the coaches I played for and coached under,” he said. “They all stressed defense first.”
At 6-foot-5, Davis is also excited to get out on the court with the team. He plans on meeting with them for the first time as early as today.
“I feel confident that when he walks into the gym and is 6-foot-5 and looks like he can still play, it will grab the kids attention,” Williams said.
At Davis’ final year at Colquitt County, the Packers went 1-19. In his five seasons as coach, Colquitt County never finished above .500 and was 31-92 overall.