By LUKE CURTIS
As a Latin teacher in the 200s building, Mr. Josh Davis can often be seen teaching students the art of translating latin texts, while explaining the daily lifestyle of the ancient Romans. However, most students at UNI are unaware of his time coaching girl’s basketball, which helped him develop into a better teacher and staff member.
“Coaching here at UNI was very important to me to become a better teacher. You learn how to connect with students in a different world than your classroom.” Davis said.
During his 11 year run from 1989 to 1999 as the Girls’ Basketball coach, Mr. Davis brought along a selfless character and determined attitude. This was reflected in the team’s success and ability to compete for titles in the Pacific Coast League. They were able to come out victorious in 1989 and 1996.
“I thought our basketball program was very strong. We did very well while Mr. Bernal and I were coaching together. We were a team to be contented within the league. I felt it was a good part of my career, an important part of my time so far here at UNI,” Davis said.
As a result of the dedication of Mr. Davis and the coaching staff, the Girls’ Basketball program experienced consistent success within their league. Making deep playoff runs, the teams and coaching staff were also able to enjoy themselves, creating friendships in memorable moments outside of their games.
“The playoff teams were special. Of the 11 years I was involved in the program, we reached the playoffs 6 times. When we went to a playoff game, we had a little excursion. When we had to go to Los Angeles one time for a playoff game, we went to a mall, had lunch together, and saw a movie,” Davis said.
One of the most rewarding scenarios a teacher can witness is when a group of students are able to gather together and orchestrate a performance that demonstrates true mastery of a concept or character. During his time coaching, Mr. Davis saw a masterpiece during an important match in the regular season. He also was able to see consistent growth and commitment to perfecting their tactics throughout his coaching career.
“I remember I was the girls’ varsity assistant. We went to Estancia High School, who was one of the power houses in the county. They were in our league at the time, and were number one. We played a brilliant game, especially because Head Coach Bob Bernal came up with a great game plan. The girls executed it and ended up tying for the league title. It was really neat to see the young women implement something and watch the strategy work so well. They worked together as a team, which is something they hadn’t done all season. It was a thrill as a coach.” Mr. Davis said.
Throughout his career as a teacher and coach, Mr. Davis has seen many studious individuals who study hard and compete with a strong motivation for success. Though there are a few he can mention that transcended the traditional mindset of personal success and instead embraced the creation of a culture where everyone could thrive and develop while contributing to the team.
“Nicole Sasé, Christina and Katie Ho, Denise Guandara. Those four young women were all stars. They were first team all league players. They were also terrific students. They helped us unify the team. Even though they were our best players, they made sure everyone else was included. They made sure other players weren’t singled out. Those years that they were here, we really had this family feel. When your best players end up caring about everyone else on the team, you end up having a great team. So when those girls were needed at the end of the season, we wanted them to have the ball. Everyone else wanted to win, and they helped carry the team all season long,” Mr. Davis said.
Reflecting upon his time as a coach, Mr. Davis notes that his time as the coach of Girls’ Basketball truly helped him be able to be more understanding of students.
“You learn how to relate to the young women on campus in a totally different manner. You get to see some more of their vulnerabilities and strengths. It taught me to be more understanding of them,” Davis said.