Greg Davis didn’t have to look too far to find his next coaching assignment.
A history teacher at Troy High School and a successful varsity boys’ basketball coach in his three seasons in charge there, Davis has been hired by nearby La Salle Institute to run its program.
Davis’ stint with the Flying Horses was highlighted by a Section II Class A championship and a run to the state final four in the 2018-19 season.
“I’m just excited to get in the gym and work with the players,” the 32-year Davis said. “I’ve known some of them, but haven’t worked with them. We’ll try to be the best we can be as a team and start to build a culture.”
“The fact that he’s a young and energetic guy, we think he’ll connect with our kids well,” La Salle athletic director Craig Ward said. “He will be an awesome asset to the La Salle program and the La Salle community. [During the interview process], he harped on making kids not only better players, but better students and better people.”
Davis found himself looking for another position when Troy recently brought back veteran coach Rich Hurley, who led the Flying Horses for six seasons and won a pair of Section II titles before stepping away in 2017 to re-energize and spend more time with his family. Davis took over for Hurley after spending three seasons as his assistant.
“When coach Hurley came back, I wanted to see if I could be a head coach somewhere,” Davis said. “I put my name in [at La Salle] and started the process. Things fell in the right place.”
Davis’ varsity teams at Troy put together a 45-27 record. Late in the 2018-19 season, behind senior leaders Nazaire Merritt and Latyce Faison, Troy beat Gloversville for the Section II Class A title before knocking off Franklin Academy and Jamesville-DeWitt for a regional title. That 21-5 season ended with a state semifinal loss to Pittsford Mendon.
“I had a great experience coaching at Troy and I learned a lot,” Davis said. “I worked with a lot of great kids and a lot of great people. Troy will always be special with me. A lot of kids there I’ve known since fifth and sixth grade. I still get to work in the building and see them.”
Davis’ coaching background includes junior varsity stints at Albany Academy, where he worked closely with varsity coach Brian Fruscio, and at Troy.
“He’s coached with a lot of coaches who have had success at Albany Academy and Troy,” Ward said. “We’re hoping he can get our program to the level where we want it to be.”
“We are extremely proud to welcome coach Davis to our La Salle community and to offer our Cadets the opportunity to gain from his experience and record of excellence,” La Salle principal Joe Raczkowski wrote in a release announcing Davis’ hiring.
Ward said Davis will inherit a senior heavy team at La Salle, which finished 14-6 last season after an overtime loss to CBA in the first round of the Section II Class AA tournament.
“I’ll have good kids to work with,” Davis said. “They’ve been messaging me today saying they want to get started today, and it’s May.”
“He’ll have a group of kids who love to compete and love to win,” Ward said.
Davis will be replacing Josh House as La Salle’s varsity coach. Late last season after Jon Desso was relieved of his duties for undisclosed reasons, House took over the varsity coaching position on an interim basis. House, who is La Salle’s head of admissions, was serving as a varsity assistant at the time.
“He [House] wants to help out, but his role has yet to be determined,” Ward said. “He’ll be around the program.”
Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.