The Dayton Flyers could have used Devin Davis 20-plus years ago. He helped lead Miami University to four straight victories over UD from 1993-97. Fans will not forget the dreadlocks he made famous or the playing style that inspired love or hate.
“Devin Davis is a true Jekyll and Hyde,” Miami guard Kenneth Bozeman told the Dayton Daily News in 1995. “Away from the game, he’s real personable. But when he hits the court, he’s relentless. Everybody’s his enemy — even us.”
All these years later, the Flyers now have Davis on their side. UD announced Tuesday he will join coach Anthony Grant’s staff as the director of player development. Here are five things to know about the hiring:
1. New position: There was not a coach with this title on Archie Miller’s staff the last six seasons. UD posted the job opening on May 1 with this description:
“The Director of Player Development serves under the direction of the head coach to support the men’s basketball student-athletes as a mentor and advisor in their overall development. The director will serve as program liaison to various campus support services (i.e. academics, compliance, etc). This position also assists the head coach with coordination of the program’s community involvement by both the coaches and team. UD Athletics employees are expected to comply with all laws, policies, rules and regulations governing the University, the NCAA and the Atlantic 10.”
2. Deep connections: Davis, 42, graduated from Miami Senior High School in Miami, Fla., in 1993, 10 years after Grant graduated from Miami Senior.
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Davis and Grant played for Marcos “Shakey” Rodriguez at Miami Senior. Grant was an assistant coach on Rodriguez’s staff when Davis was in high school and advised Davis on what to expect in college in Ohio before left Florida.
Years later when Grant was the head coach at Alabama, Davis spent a season as the strength and conditioning coach with the Crimson Tide.
3. Miami standout: Davis is the third-leading scorer in Miami history with 1,828 points, trailing Ron Harper (2,377) and Wally Szczerbiak (1,847). He’s also the third-leading rebounder (1,027), trailing Harper and Basketball Hall of Famer Wayne Embry (1,117). Davis was inducted into the Miami Hall of Fame in 2009.
4. Arena history: Perhaps the most memorable performance in Davis’ career came at UD Arena in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 1995. As a sophomore, he scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as No. 12 seed Miami upset No. 5 Arizona 71-62.
“The kid just doesn’t stop,” Arizona coach Lute Olson said then. “The way Davis plays the game, he lifts that whole team to another level.”
5. Pro career: Among other qualifications for this job, candidates needed five years of professional basketball playing experience. Davis played pro basketball for 14 years. He spent most of those years spent in Spain. He also played in the Philippines, Russia, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.