Central State lands veteran Antonio Davis as men’s hoops coach

Courtesy: Central State Athletics

WILBERFORCE, Ohio – Central State University’s intercollegiate athletics department has selected Antonio O. Davis to be the next CSU men’s basketball head coach. Davis resumes a CSU schedule that was 17-13 last season with a ledger of 11-8 in the SIAC game.

“We welcome Antonio Davis to Central State University. Coach Davis comes to CSU with extensive coaching experience while consistently demonstrating integrity and tireless dedication to the development of its student-athletes, ”said CSU Director of Athletics. Tara A. Owens. “With his unmatched enthusiasm for basketball, we are confident that Coach Davis will instill a winning culture on and off the court while creating a quality college experience for our students. ”

Known as a disciplinarian, master tactician, and motivator who believes in a family atmosphere, Davis has developed well-rounded student-athlete and champion programs throughout his coaching career. Davis comes to Central State with 17 years of experience as a head coach and 29 years of overall training at the college level.

Antonio Davis takes over the central state men’s program.

“It’s an exciting time for Marauder basketball. I express my sincere gratitude to President Dr Jack Thomas, Director of Athletics Tara A. Owens, and the CSU community for the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program, ”said Davis. “We will be determined to be the best at everything we do. I look forward to instilling a culture of the discipline as well as a winning mindset as we embark on this new era of Marauder basketball.

Davis had spent the previous three seasons as the head coach of women’s basketball at Elizabeth City State University. At ECSU, he developed four all-conference caps while advancing steadily in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) tournament each season.

Prior to coaching at ECSU, Davis was an assistant at Shaw University from 2013-2017, helping the Bears compete in three CIAA South Division Championships, two NCAA tournaments and a the CIAA.

Davis also has experience at the NCAA Division I level as Interim Head Coach, Associate Head Coach and Assistant Coach, with successful stints at Central North Carolina University and the ‘South Carolina State University.

Davis was also a head coach at Morristown College (1987-88), Livingstone College (1988-91), Kentucky State University (1993-98), and Saint Augustine’s University (2001-07).

As one of the youngest head coaches in the country, Davis took over a last-place squad at Morristown and guided them to a second place in the conference in his only season with the program before becoming a coach at his alma mater – Livingstone College.

At Livingstone, Davis turned a one-win Blue Bears team into a 15-win team before accepting a coaching position at Kentucky State University.

At KSU, Davis rejuvenated a last-place program into a perennial powerhouse in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Under Davis, KSU had 20 consecutive winning seasons, earned his first appearance in an NCAA tournament, set a regular season record with 26 wins, won three consecutive division titles, won a tournament championship, and has been classified nationally. Playing two roles at KSU, Davis was also the first coach in SIAC history to win both a basketball and volleyball conference championship in the same calendar year.

In six seasons at SAU, he built a consistently competitive squad that rose to No. 20 nationally in 2005. His teams also thrived in the class as the Lady Falcons won four consecutive CIAA Highest GPA awards for women’s basketball while continuously competing for the CIAA Championships.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been the type to seek out and take on challenges. I look forward to this new opportunity to build a program to make him a perennial contender for the championship. I think my contagious coaching style will translate seamlessly to CSU and inspire the habits and results of the Championship, ”said Davis. “My players can expect a high level of passion and enthusiasm from me every day.”

In addition to developing several All-Conference and All-Americans selections, Davis has instilled an impressive record of academic achievement among his players. In seventeen years as a head coach, the graduation rate among his student-athletes is 100%, with 70% going on to various graduate programs.

“Our men are going to be the hardest workers in the country. Our goal is to be the best versions of ourselves on the field, in the classroom and in the community, ”said Davis. “I believe in doing it right and being attentive to the details. I want our young men to do great things while they are at CSU. Most importantly, I want to see my players succeed in life after they graduate. ”

Prior to becoming a head coach at the age of 26, Davis was an outstanding college player at Livingstone in the 1980s. Davis led the country with 35 points per game in the 1987-88 season. He won All-CIAA, All-District 26 and All-America honors while finishing his career as Livingstone’s career leading scorer with 1,800 points. Considered one of the greatest shooters in college basketball history, he is the only known player to post career shooting percentages of 50/50/90. He shot over 56% from the field, 53% from the three-point distance and 94% from the free throw line. No other player in NCAA history has averaged 50/50/90 in a single season. For his achievements as a player, Davis was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame in March 2020.

Davis received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Livingstone College and a Master of Science in History from North Carolina A&T. Davis is originally from Sunbury, North Carolina and is married to Nichelle B. Davis.

He will officially take up his duties as CSU’s men’s basketball head coach on November 1.

Central State lands veteran Antonio Davis as men’s hoops coach

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