This winter will mark a new era for SJR Basketball. Following the retirement of long-time head coach Michael Doherty '82, Dan Davis '99 is set to begin his first season as head coach of the Green Knights program. SJR media's Tyler Parks '27 caught up with coach Davis as he prepares for tryouts and the upcoming 2023-24 basketball season.
Tyler: This is your first season as varsity head coach after 17 seasons as an assistant... How do you feel your first varsity basketball team will do this winter?
Coach Davis: After a long summer and a successful fall, I feel that the team has a lot to look forward to. Obviously, there are a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, so it's hard to predict one way or another, record or championships. But the hope is that as we go through the season, the team gets better each day in practice and games. Towards the end of the season, we can look back and say that it was a great year.
Tyler: Are you excited to finally be head coaching varsity after all of your years coaching freshman?
Coach Davis: Of course! Obviously being promoted and moving up is always a goal for anyone in any industry. Being around the varsity while being around the freshman all those years has prepared me to be a varsity coach, but I'm definitely looking forward to having the varsity under my tutelage, and also having different assistant coaches we brought in to give the players experience throughout the year.
Tyler: What was your most memorable season coaching freshman basketball?
Coach Davis: I guess it would be bookends, because my first season coaching freshman we went 23-0, and last year we went 20-0, so you look back on those two years going undefeated and winning a county championship, it's something to be proud of and definitely memorable, but more important than the success of the team is seeing the guys go on to play JV basketball, varsity basketball, and a lot of those guys going on to play college basketball.
Tyler: Do you feel if you play the same as you did in your fall league you will have a dominant season?
Coach Davis: Well, I don't know about using the word dominant. I feel like we did very well this fall. Unfortunately, we came up a little short in the championship game, but overall, the kids played really well. We played in two different fall leagues, and they showed a lot of strengths and weaknesses that we can work on and be better with.
Coach Davis will hold his first tryouts as head coach beginning November 20th. The Green Knights Varsity season will begin December 14th against Northern Valley Old Tappan.