Davis continues his coaching duties at Delta Charter School
Published 12:01 am Monday, June 22, 2015
FERRIDAY — Steve Davis views his coaching fraternity like family, and after spending last season without a headset on, family reached out.
Davis, who was part of the first graduating class of Natchez High School, returned home in 2004 after spending four years at Stone Mountain High School in Georgia, where he got his first coaching experience. Davis got a call from lifelong friend Lance Reed, who accepted the head football coaching position at Natchez High School, and after, Davis spent the next three years on Reed’s coaching staff. During that span, Davis visited Alcorn State University, where he ran into a graduating Dwayne Taylor.
“He was standing in the student union, and I didn’t know him from a can of paint,” Taylor said. “He was wearing a Natchez shirt, so I said, ‘I need a job.’ He gave me Coach Reed’s number, and he ended up interviewing me.”
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In 2007, Taylor joined Reed’s staff, but Davis, who had given Taylor that Natchez connection, departed from the school to pursue other interests. Davis spent the next few years with Wilkinson County, before Reed talked him into coming back to Natchez High in 2011. At that time, Taylor had left for Texas, seemingly taking a departure from coaching altogether.
In 2014, administration problems arose, and Davis’ lifelong pal Reed decided to leave Natchez as head football coach. Meanwhile, Reed was grooming Davis to take over for him. Instead of hiring Davis, Natchez High School named Melvin Pete as head coach, leading to Davis head butting the administration.
“I had given so much of my time, along with the other coaches, trying to fix our hometown school, trying to turn things around,” Davis said. “You give a whole lot of yourself, so to be shunned like that definitely hurt me. I was told I would have to interview again to be assistant coach, and since I was already working in the district, I told them no.”
As a result, Davis spent last football season watching from afar.
“My mom died in August, and football would have been my escape,” Davis said. “Since I didn’t have that, I traveled on Fridays and followed the kids. Seeing the kids I had trained and worked with and coached, I was hurt. We had a bond, so I was very bitter.”
Meanwhile, Taylor had worked his way up the ranks at Delta Charter and earned the head football coaching position in the offseason. Taylor extended an opportunity to Davis, as Davis first did to him years ago. Taylor, Davis, Reed and other members of that 2007 high school staff had been chatting every day in a group message, and when Reed got the itch again to coach, Taylor was there.
Since being approved as offensive coordinator last week, Davis has hit the ground running, and it hasn’t taken him long to fit in with Taylor running the same offense Natchez High ran under Reed. Even further, Taylor said Davis and his quarterback Trey Poole are “joined at the hip already.”
“He can already guess what I’m thinking,” Davis said.
So far, Delta Charter feels like home for Davis, and he has his “family” to thank for the opportunity to get back onto the gridiron.
“This has just been a welcomed breath of fresh air,” Davis said.