Inducted and honored

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pleasant Home boys basketball coach Jerry Davis will be honored and inducted into the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches 2010 “Court of Legends” Hall of Fame Saturday in Orlando.

Davis joins a select group of individuals and teams that will be recognized for their success on and off the court, dedication to the game and coaching longevity.

Davis will be honored at Oviedo High School at 1 p.m. EST.

“It’s an honor,” Davis said. “This is not just high school, this is colleges, pro players and college players. You start looking at who has been inducted into it, it’s pretty impressive.”

In his 33 years in Florida, Davis compiled a 646-267 record over a 29-year period at five schools. The schools he coached at are Tallahassee Rickards, Wakulla County, Grand Ridge, Ponce de Leon and Vernon.

Davis coached at Grand Ridge for 17 years finishing with a 484-162 record. He lead 10 teams to the sectional finals, made six Final Four appearances, won three state championships (one at Wakulla County in 1980, and two at Grand Ridge), was named state coach of the year four times, and coached the North/South All-Star game in 1986 and 1990.

In 1998, Davis was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2003, was listed as one of the 10 best basketball coaches in Florida history by the Orlando Sentinel.

On the court, he helped 20 players sign basketball scholarships to colleges; had six players play in the North/South All-Star game from his team; and had 12 first team All-State players play under him.

“These kind of things are for people that have been at it awhile,” Davis said humbly. “I just finished my 39th year, and all of the wins added up to 20 a year.

“But, I’m not sure how many years you can count,” he said. “Anytime you start talking about hall of fames and stuff, it’s about those who have stayed in the business, but one thing I’m proud of is that we’ve been successful most of the way through.”

Davis said the three things he is most proud of beside his players and coaching friendships are that more than 50 percent of his wins were against higher classification schools; that he never recruited a player; and that he started a coaching clinic in 1991 that continues.

One thing Davis said he is looking forward to at the induction will be to reunite with old friends that he hasn’t seen in a while.

“One thing I am looking forward to is that my Chipola Junior College coach, Milton Johnson — the winningest coach in Chipola history, will be honored,” he said. “Last year, he was supposed to be inducted and died the day before. They held it over, and he’s going in this year. I’ll get to see those people I haven’t seen in a while. It’s a matter now that I will get to see people I haven’t seen in a while.”

This weekend, his daughter Gina, a senior at Pleasant Home, will be participating in the Class 1A state softball tournament in Montgomery. He said he hopes the weather will cooperate to where he can see his daughter finish the tournament in time for them to travel to Orlando.

But, all the same, Davis said he excited about the trip to Orlando.

Davis just finished his sixth year at PHS, and his total record to date is 722-345.