In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Grafton High School Lady Bearcats Junior Varsity Head Coach Kurtis Davis
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I teach Science and Social Studies at TCMS and I’m also a coach and a youth leader.
When did you first decide you that wanted to get involved with coaching?
It kind of happened by accident. I was at the city gym in Philippi waiting for my game that evening. My much younger cousin’s team was playing and a friend of mine was the coach. He asked if I’d like to hang out and help him. Then I started coming to practices and I really enjoyed it.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why?
Probably Chipper Jones. He was always this soft-spoken southern guy, so I could relate. He spent his whole career on one team, played wherever they needed him to play, and was a Hall of Famer and a world champion.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about trying out for basketball but is nervous or scared about it?
I like to tell my athletes that fear is a useless emotion in sports. It clouds your judgement and makes you make silly mistakes. I would tell them to clear their mind of whatever is getting them worked up and to just go hard after what you want. At the end of the day, the worst thing that could happen is not making it.
What is your favorite movie about sports?
Probably Varsity Blues or the Mighty Ducks.
What is the most bizarre question you have ever been asked by someone about basketball?
“Coach, are we on offense now?”
What is the one thing you always do after winning a big game?
Usually just sit in my truck for a few minutes and reflect on it, but I tend to start thinking about the next game pretty soon.
You had the opportunity to be the head girls’ basketball coach at TCMS for a few years. Describe the transition from TCMS to GHS for us.
I absolutely loved coaching the middle school team for all those years. After some time developing our system, we were a pretty good team and I was comfortable there. Transitioning to high school was a bit of a shock. Bigger gyms, faster pace, more officials, more fans. But, at the end of the day, it’s basketball. I love it no matter where I get to coach it.
What are your best and worst memories in athletics?
My best was probably when we were down 15 in the middle of the 3rd quarter to a team whose losses you could count on one hand over the past five years. I called a timeout, made a couple quick changes, and we came back to beat them by 15.
My worst was probably when I was playing church league softball. I’d just been walked and while I was trotting to first base, I hit a hole and rolled my ankle. I had to get helped off the field.
If you could be a successful professional athlete in any sport, what would it be?
Backup NFL kicker. Great seats, good pay, and I only have to kick a ball every once in a while.
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
What is the toughest position to play on the basketball court?
Center/Post. It’s quickly become an underutilized and forgotten position. But a post player who knows what they’re doing with their back to the basket is a great asset.
What is your offensive strategy? You can be as specific or as vague as you’d like.
I guess it would be best described as “take your time, but hurry”. I want to get a quick bucket in transition or score quickly off a turnover, but if that initial fast break isn’t there, I want to slow down and be patient. The best defense in the world will show you its weakness if you give it time.
You get to spend the day with anyone (past or present), who do you choose and why?
Teddy Roosevelt. I just admire him and what he accomplished in his life in and out of office, and I think he’d have some great stories.
What would you say to one of your players who is really struggling to perform on a particular day?
I’ve told the girls for years that at the end of the day I care about three things: Work hard, play hard, and get better. Everyone has bad days. The important thing is to not let it become a bad week/month/season by focusing on it. Get up, dust off, and move on.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That’s a tough one. I would hope I’m still working with kids as a teacher, coach, and youth leader. Those things make me feel fulfilled.
What do you think you do well as coach?
I like to think I foster good life principles and work ethic. I like to set clear cut rules about things and stick with them, and I think because of that, they work harder and function well as a unit.
Where is your favorite away venue to coach a basketball game?
That would probably be Mountaineer Middle in Harrison County. We played some outstanding games in their tournaments there.
Give me one word to describe the current varsity head coach, Andrew Moore.
What did you think of these questions?
I found a couple to be thought provoking, but most enjoyable.
*Each week the Mountain Statesman features a coach, player or personality from Taylor County. We hope you enjoy the chance to learn a little bit more about them.