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Davis is done with OC diamond

Davis is done with OC diamond
A wearer of multiple hats in the Obion County School System, Russ Davis is getting rid of his baseball cap.
Davis, head coach at Obion County Central the past three seasons and the assistant principal at the Career Technology Center, officially confirmed his long-known intentions with the OCCHS baseball program after the Rebels were eliminated from the District 13AA Tournament over the weekend.
He’s giving up his diamond duties.
On July 1, Davis will become the Career Technological Education director for the Obion County School System.
He says getting out of the coaching business is a necessity with his new responsibilities.
“It’s impossible to wear two or three hats with the time that both being an administrator and a coach demands,” Davis insisted.
“I’ll be 46 years old this summer and have been a coach for 22 years — 13 of those a head coach. This is a young man’s business. It’s time for someone with a little more energy to take over and build on we’ve done.”
Davis, an OCCHS graduate who also spent 10 years as a teacher/coach at Lake County after a first stint at his alma mater, took over the Rebel baseball fortunes three years ago. He had served as an assistant to John Buchanan for six seasons prior to that.
OC went 44-63 (.411) during his time in charge, but did win at least two postseason games in each of his three seasons. And under Davis, Central did better the mark of the three previous years when it won just one-fourth (25) of its 101 games. 
Still, the Rebs have not enjoyed a winning season since 2004, when they went 21-14 in Year 10 of Buchanan’s 13-season tenure.
“Our record certainly isn’t what we would have liked for it to be, but we won 18 games this year with five sophomores starting and just two seniors,” said Davis, whose 2010 record was 18-24 after Obion Central was ousted by Ripley 7-6 Saturday at Millington.
“Our young people have gotten great experience against quality competition this year, though, and I believe we’re close to being able to compete with anyone in a very tough district. I think we’re to the point now where losing bothers us, and the kids expect to be competitive and have a chance to win every day.”
OCCHS Athletic Director Tommy Victory said he hopes to fill the vacancy soon, but admitted there are no front-running candidates as of now.
“We’ve had some people show interest, though, and we’ll post the job immediately on the Internet,” he said. “We’ll have a good bunch of kids who’ll be juniors coming back, and I’m hopeful we’ll attract some good people.
“We appreciate all Russ has done with the program and understand that he’s decided to get out and move on. I think his situation was a little more difficult because he was at the vocational center, and I believe a head coach needs to be at the school.”
When a new coach is hired, he will be the sixth in the 32-year history of the program.
OC is 491-418-4 all-time in baseball.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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