DECATUR – Another football season begins Monday for a MacAthur program that has fallen on tough times.
That's when the first day of summer contact days will be held for the Generals. They will be working on a new start after consecutive 1-8 seasons.
Hoping to aid in that revival will be newly appointed assistant coach Scott Davis.
Yes, that Scott Davis.
The longtime area coach who spent 24 years at St. Teresa and who most recently was at Meridian for four seasons decided to pursue his next challenge.
And that has taken him to MacArthur.
“They are trying to change for the better,” Davis said on Thursday. “I look forward to it and to do the best I can and hopefully make the program just a little bit better.”
Davis resigned from his position as head coach at Meridian to accept the job as part of coach Derek Spates' staff. Davis also accepted a job as physical education teacher at the high school. The moves were approved by the Decatur school board last week.
MacArthur athletics director Jason Crutcher said the hire was a no-brainer when he heard of Davis' interest.
“It's kind of like hitting the lottery,” said Crutcher, who was happy to get another football coach in the building, mixing with the players on a daily basis.
“His knowledge and his experience will help our staff out and help coach Spates out,” Crutcher said. “Scott is dedicated to what he does. He is going to show up and put in the work to get our program back to where it needs to be.”
Davis has been a head coach for 35 of his 39 years on the sidelines. He's compiled a record of 236-123 and his teams have made the playoffs 20 times.
He's also been a head coach at Macon and at Mount Zion.
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“He's like coach Spates. Coach Spates wants to win more than anybody,” Crutcher said. “With Scott, you can tell he is a hard worker and he will get after it. That's what we need here. The kids need to see it.”
Davis said he decided it was time “for me to step back.” At MacArthur he will work with the offensive linemen and linebackers.
It will be his first foray into the Decatur public schools since he graduated from Eisenhower in 1974.
“This opportunity came up and there was a teaching position with it,” Davis said. “I don't have to move my family. The logistics of it worked out great and it was an opportunity to help Derek and get away from the grind of a head coach.”
Davis' teams haven't had much success since he left St. Teresa. He was at Mount Zion for two seasons and one playoff appearance. His Meridian teams won four games in four years.
But Davis said he could see himself being a head coach again, and could have had some choices around the area this spring but said the best decision now was to take this approach.
“For me to step back and look at it from a different angle,” he said. “I didn't want to give up coaching. I still think I can contribute. Football is my life. Everything is my life revolves around football. I didn't want to retire and not coach any more. I am excited to move just a few miles away and start a new challenge.
“It's a different type of community, but every job is going to be a challenge and nothing is going to be easy,” Davis said. “I know what I am getting myself into. I know good things can happen."
Davis' departure leaves Meridian scrambling to find a coach as summer activities near.
Meridian principal Eric Hurelbrink said the job has been advertised and he's already received a few applications. The deadline to apply is June 9.
“Hopefully there will be one in there we feel will be a good fit for us and our kids,” Hurelbrink said. “There are a lot of good coaches out there in the area. We just need to find the right fit for Meridian.
“Ideally we want to get it done as quick as we can to give that coach as much of the summer as we can.”
All is not bleak for the next Meridian coach. After a couple seasons where the program was fighting to have enough bodies to play, Hurelbrink said the 2016 Hawks had a roster of about 34 players.