Texas Southern is a long way from Indiana, in distance and college basketball program stature. But for Mike Davis, going from one of the storied programs in the country to a school in the SWAC in six years, well, it’s just fine. The one-time coach of Indiana after legendary Bobby Knight was fired has since gone through the gamut of success and trials and finds himself at an HBCU on an interim basis. Still, if you take him at his word, it’s all good.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to get back into coaching,” Davis said in an interview with KRIV-TV in Houston. “I’ve researched Texas Southern’s program.”
Davis, who led Indiana to the 2002 Final Four and was 2010-11 Conference USA Coach of the Year at Alabama-Birmingham, was offered the job after Tony Harvey resigned for personal reasons, KRIV reported.
“I think Harvey left some real good players there. They had a good program and it’s one of the better jobs in the (SWAC) conference, and I’m excited to get back working and teaching,” Davis said to the station.
After resigning from Indiana in 2006, he signed on with UAB and had success early and struggles late. He said personal tragedies impacted him on his job.
“My mom passed away and I had two nephews pass away in a three-month period before the season started, and that kind of got me off key a little bit,” he told KRIV. “I got it back at the end of the year, but by that time we were already in conference play. I have my focus and my drive back and I’m ready to get back into the flow.”
”I think Harvey left some real good players there. They had a good program and it’s one of the better jobs in the (SWAC) conference, and I’m excited to get back working and teaching,” Davis said.
When Davis took over for Knight in 2000, he was a coaching phenom. The Hoosiers went21–13 his first year. In 2002, Davisn led Hoosiers the NCAA championship game. From there, expectations rose, but wins leveled off. Finally, he departed Indiana and faded after a good start at UAB.
An HBCU landing an accomplished coach like Davis is a huge deal. Before long, he will shed the “interim” tag and, with good recruiting, lead Texas Southern to some good places.