ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) From the gridiron, to the track, the diamond, and beyond, state titles have been in abundance since David McGinn was hired as athletic director and boys basketball coach at St. Johnsbury back in 2009. But with McGinn retiring at the end of this school year, St. J needed a new head man on the hardwood.
"If I was gonna take a job at the high school level, I wanted to be somewhere that athletics were extremely competitive."
The Toppers didn't have to look far to find their guy. Enter former Dartmouth men's basketball director of operations Ben Davis.
"Been doing the college thing for 13 years," Davis said. "Love coaching at the college level, I think one of the things has just been the travel and the time commitment at the college level has just been something that with a young family, I just want to spend more time and have a little bit better work-life balance."
This will be Davis' first high school coaching job, but he does come in with experience as a head coach, having led the program at Mt. Ida for four years before joining the staff at Dartmouth. He believes the lessons he learned in that role will be crucial .
"One of the things I definitely learned was just take your time. I want to see what we have and what the strengths are of each individual player that we have. And I think that's the fun part, trying to build to their strengths and figure out how we could be successful," Davis said.
While the Toppers were just a few points away from repeating as D1 state champs last month, the roster Davis is inheriting is gonna look a little different. But he's confident in the program McGinn built.
"They graduate seven seniors this year so the team will be younger next year, but just having that foundation with the history and tradition that they do, it certainly was attractive to me," Davis said.
Along with the basketball coaching job, Davis becomes the new assistant AD as well at St. J, and he's looking forward to helping continue the school's overall success .
"It's such a good tradition there and David's done such a great job with the program, establishing such a strong culture of just great kids and the overall St. Johnsbury Academy community just across the board athletics-wise has that culture so continuing to help aid the development of our student athletes in that realm," Davis said.
Like many of us, Davis is working from home which makes getting to know the student athletes a little tough. But he's confident he and his team will be ready to hit the ground running whenever they can get back on campus.