ALBANY — The Deerfield-Windsor baseball team is still Rod Murray’s for the rest of the 2014 season, but now the Knights know who will lead them in 2015.
On Monday, DWS announced that current Calvary Day School head baseball coach Jonathan Davis will replace Murray after this season.
Murray, who is in the middle of his seventh and final season as coach of the DWS baseball team, is leaving to take over the Southland football program this summer, and DWS athletic director Gordy Gruhl believes the Knights have found the perfect replacement.
“Jonathan has a lot of enthusiasm about the game of baseball,” Gruhl said. “He is coming in to replace some big shoes. Coach Murray did a good job of building our program into one of the elite programs in the GISA, and we hope Jonathan can keep that going and go even higher.”
Davis, a former baseball player at Brewton-Parker College, is in his fifth year at Calvary Day, a GHSA Class A school in Region 3. Davis led Calvary to region championship in 2010, ’11 and ‘12, and his Cavaliers are in the hunt for another crown this season.
“I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to take over the baseball program at Deerfield-Windsor,” Davis said. “We look to build on the great tradition at DWS of developing the whole student as we positively impact the Albany community.”
Davis said his coaching philosophy revolves around the fundamentals.
“We are going to be super, super detail oriented,” he said. “We are going to teach and preach toughness and fundamentals in the way we play the game.”
Davis played high school baseball and football at Calvary Day under Deerfield football coach Allen Lowe, who coached at the Savannah school for six years in the late ‘90s, giving Davis an early ally at DWS.
“Allen knew what kind of person and kid Jonathan was in high school, and that kind of got us going on him and got us to meet him,” Gruhl said.
Davis’ was one of more than 30 coaching resumes that landed on Gruhl’s desk in the wake of Murray’s announcement in February.
“Resumes are important to a certain extent, but I liked what I heard from him when I talked to him,” Gruhl said. “I think his character is good, and I think he is somebody who will be a positive influence on young people and players. He came highly recommended by some college coaches and programs that I think a lot of. I think he will be a good fit.”
Davis, who will teach math and be an assistant coach on the DWS football team, was a two-time academic All-American while at Brewton-Parker. In addition to his coaching experience at Calvary Day, he has coached or served as a graduate assistant at Telfair County High School, Valdosta State and Brewton-Parker.
“We are very pleased that our search has resulted in attracting someone of Jonathan Davis’ caliber,” DWS headmaster Dave Davies said. “His recommendations spoke of his character, leadership and expertise in all facets of school life.”