From the ‘Peake to the Hall

Published 10:18 am Thursday, July 7, 2011

Phil Davis to be inducted into Ohio High School Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame

CHESAPEAKE — Phil Davis can add one more football activity before he settles into retirement.

On Friday, Davis will be inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 7 p.m. ceremonies at the Hilton Hotel in the Columbus Easton Mall.

“I was kind of shocked. I’m very appreciative,” said Davis.

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Davis began his career in West Virginia as the head coach at Buffalo. He took the job at Chesapeake in 1990 where he inherited a program that was 3-27 in its previous three seasons including 0-10 in 1989.

During his 22 seasons at Chesapeake, Davis posted a 126-103 record and his teams won eight Ohio Valley Conference championships. The program had just two prior to his arrival.

He also guided the Panthers to all seven of the program’s state playoff appearances.

In 34 seasons as a head coach, Davis was 207-139.

Under Davis, the Panthers’ football program was able to step forward after being in the shadows of the basketball program.

“We went 1-9 that first season. I’m pretty proud of what we did here. I think we changed the attitude of the players and we did a good job of sharing athletes,” said Davis.

Friday’s induction means that Davis will now join two local coaches he nominated for the Hall of Fame: Ironton’s Bob Lutz and Coal Grove’s Dave Lucas. The two were inducted in 2003.

Davis — who is the Southeast district president until his duties end on Friday — said he often thought about being in the Hall of Fame when attended the association’s annual induction ceremonies.

“Sometimes I (thought about it) when I was at them. I thought, ‘Boy, that would be nice,’” said Davis.

But Davis said his career goal wasn’t about making the Hall of Fame. He said he just enjoyed working with the players and coaches.

“I always felt like I had a pretty good job and I got to go do it every day,” said Davis.