Coach departs BA for Ocean Springs

Published 6:00 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

Head football coach Herbert Davis is leaving Brookhaven Academyto be reunited with an old friend. He has joined new Ocean Springshead coach Ryan Ross at the Class 6A school.

Davis, 44, has been at BA for three seasons, winning a statechampionship in 2009. He also served as headmaster, principal andathletic director during that time.

“Several things contributed to my decision,” said Davis. “I amgoing to a collegiate-style football program. That will equal moretime for me and my family.

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“The Ocean Springs school district is one of the best in thestate,” Davis added. “I get a chance to basically coach with mybrother. It’s good when you can coach with folks you trust and youlove.”

Davis directed the BA Cougars to a perfect 15-0 record in winningthe AA state title. His team finished 12-2 in 2010 and lost in theAA semifinals to River Oaks, the eventual state champion. His3-year record is 35-6.

“I will always love BA,” said Davis. “We have a special bond withthe players. The people have been really nice to me.”

Davis informed his team of his decision Thursday afternoon. He saida special search committee was being formed to find a new headcoach for the Cougars.

“I did what was best in my family,” Davis continued. “It was atough decision.”

He and his wife, Darla, have three children: Hayden, 13; Makenzie,14; and a stepdaughter, Chansley Hodge, 21.

Davis graduated from BA in 1985. He won a state championship atPillow Academy in 1997. His Columbus Heritage teams were staterunners-up twice and he had a second place finish at WinstonAcademy.

“Herbert is probably one of the best all-around football coachesthat I know,” said Ross. “When this opportunity happened for me, Ihad the chance to hire one quality football coach. Herbert was atthe top of the list.”

Ross, offensive coordinator at Brookhaven High School in 2010, waselevated to the head job at BHS in late February when Tucker Peaveyelected to step down after nine years at the helm. Ocean Springsoffered an impressive package of benefits and Ross accepted thatjob two weeks ago.

“I’m very excited to have Herbert on my staff,” said Ross. “We haveworked camps together and always talked football. We have done alot together over the years.”

Ross and Davis knew each other since childhood in Lincoln Countyand worked together in 1993 when BA won its first statechampionship. Ross also coached as a volunteer assistant with Daviswhen he was at Indianola Academy.

Ross said Davis will be his offensive coordinator. Doug Lucas isthe defensive coordinator at Ocean Springs and is a holdover fromthe previous staff.