MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Former consensus national coach of the year Keno Davis was introduced by Central Michigan University Athletics Director Dave Heeke as the Chippewas' 20th head men's basketball coach at press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Davis, 40, has four years of Division I head coaching experience and was named the 2008 coach of the year by six national organizations, including the Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and The Sporting News. Through one season at Drake and three at Providence he compiled a 74-55 (.574) record and made two postseason appearances."I am very aware of the tradition of Central Michigan," Davis said. "As you look at CMU, you look at the commitment and the investment they have made to the student-athletes here. It is at a level beyond where it has ever been and when you put those things together, you have the potential for great success. I'm looking forward to meeting our current student-athlete and meeting the future student-athletes at Central Michigan and I expect them to continue to build upon the great Chippewa Pride."
In his first season as a head coach, 2007-08, Davis led the Drake Bulldogs to a 28-5 mark, which included a 15-3 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. His team captured its first MVC regular season title since 1971 and its first ever MVC Tournament title. Drake became the first league school to win both the regular season and tournament titles since 2002, and the Bulldogs made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1971.
That season, Drake was nationally ranked for a school-record eight consecutive weeks. The Bulldogs finished 14th in the Associated Press Poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Davis had all this success in his first season after inheriting a team that was 17-15 in 2007 and lost four starters to graduation. He led a squad that was picked to finish ninth in the MVC to the program's first top-25 ranking since 1974-75.
"There has been tremendous investment and support going forward with a new building and new energy and we are glad to be here at this step," Heeke said. "It is a very exciting day for Central Michigan Athletics as we usher in a new era of Chippewa basketball. Today we introduce the right individual that has the vision to rebuild CMU basketball into what it should be as a successful program."
Moving to Providence after just one season at Drake, Davis quickly got to work as he guided the Friars to a 19-14 mark in 2008-09. Although the Friars were picked 12th in the 2009 BIG EAST Preseason Poll, the squad posted a 10-8 record in league play and finished tied for seventh. Leading the team to 19 victories, he established a program record for the most wins by a first-year head coach. During the regular season, he earned two victories over top-15 teams, including an 81-73 win over No. 1 Pittsburgh. Davis also led the team to its first BIG EAST tournament victory since 2003 and into the postseason as the Friars earned an at-large bid to the NIT.
In 2009-10 Davis' team was one of the top offensive squads in the country, scoring 82.4 points per game and ranking third in the nation in that category. The 2010-11 season was highlighted by senior Marshon Brooks earning multiple All-America honors before becoming a first-round NBA Draft selection.
The Early Years
Prior to being selected as the head coach at Drake, Davis served as an assistant under his father, Dr. Tom Davis, at Drake from 2003-07. He began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant for two years under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana then took an assistant position under Gary Garner at Southeast Missouri State from 1997-2003.
Davis was exposed to basketball at a very young age as he watched his father become one of the NCAA's all-time winningest coaches. In 32 seasons as a head coach at Lafayette (1971-77), Boston College (1977-82), Stanford (1982-86), Iowa (1986-99) and Drake (2003-07), he registered a 598-355 mark (.628), which included 18 postseason appearances and 16 20-win seasons. He also was named the 1987 Associated Press National Coach of the Year. When Keno earned the same honor in 2008, it marked the first time that a father and son duo had captured the national coach of the year honor.
Head Coaching Experience
15-3 Missouri Valley
10-8 Big East
Assistant coach - Drake (2003-07), Southeast Missouri State (1997-2003), and
Southern Indiana (1995-97).
Big Ten Network analyst - 2011-12
College: Iowa (1995)... Family: Wife Krista, son Brady, daughter Mara
Wins vs. Top 25 Teams
Feb. 24, 2008 at #8 Butler
Jan. 28, 2009 vs. #15 Syracuse
Feb. 24, 2009 vs. #1 Pittsburgh
Jan. 27, 2010 vs. #19 UConn
Jan. 22, 2011 vs. #19 Louisville
Jan. 26, 2011 vs. #7 Villanova
Coaching Honors (2008)Associated Press National Coach of the Year
U.S. Basketball Writers Coach of the Year
Sporting News Coach of the Year
CollegeHoops.net Coach of the Year
Basketball Times Coach of the Year
Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year
Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year