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Volleyball: Irish assistant Davis to be Broncos head coach

Kate Gales | Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Irish sidelines will be different this fall, as Notre Dame assistant coach Robin Davis has accepted the head coaching job at Boise State.

Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier announced Davis’ hire Friday. The Notre Dame sports information department informed local media of the hiring in a news release Wednesday.

Davis spent five years at Notre Dame, and was head coach at Biola University (Calif.) before coming to South Bend.

“We’ll miss him tremendously,” Irish head coach Debbie Brown said. “He’s not replaceable because he’s just a very valuable member of our program.”

Davis becomes the fourth assistant under Brown to go on to a head coaching position at the Division-I level, joining Devin Scruggs (Nevada), Steve Schlick (Cal Poly) and Jim McLaughlin (Kansas State and Washington). Notre Dame went 120-35 when Davis was with the program.

“I know we’re going to have really good candidates to look at for the position and we’ll be fine, we’ll recover,” Brown said. “We’ll just miss him. He’s brought a lot to the program – he’s a great teacher.”

Davis worked with the middle blockers, and graduating senior Lauren Brewster recalled how he worked with her and the others at that position, making it a strong point of the Notre Dame program.

“He worked a lot with us. … He’s an amazing coach,” she said. “He knows how to motivate players – you’ll find that in coaching, not all coaches have that talent and he’s able to do it.”

Brown said that Davis will bring great recruiting skills to Boise State as well, where he is scheduled to take over Friday.

“He’s a very good recruiter,” she said. “He evaluates talents very, very well and identifies potential and all those types of things … building relationships with prospective student athletes and the parents [is important] and he does a really good job with that.”

Brewster and Brown both agreed that teaching – a crucial skill for a coach – was another of Davis’ strengths.

“He has played the game, but more importantly he’s just a really good teacher,” Brown said. “He can help the player make the little adjustments that are going to make big differences in the outcome of the way they play.”

These skills will be important for the Broncos, who have never been to an NCAA tournament. The team graduates only two players from the 2005 season after finishing 8-18 following a 17-12 season record in 2004.

Davis graduated from Northern Arizona with a degree in physical education. Early in his career, he worked as the athletic director and assistant principal at Brethren Christian High School in California. In addition to his head coaching experience, he spent two years as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona.

Since the beginning of his time at Notre Dame, Brown said she knew his goal was to be a Division-I head coach.

“I think we’re pretty lucky to have kept him for five years because he’s really qualified, and there’s no doubt he’ll do a great job as a D-1 head coach,” Brown said.

Brewster endorsed his qualifications and dedication as well.

“He has been working for this for a long time and he’s been working under a great coach, Debbie Brown – he’s learned a lot from her,” Brewster said. “This is what he’s wanted and this is what he’s been working for and I know he’s going to do great at it.”