Wildcats coaching staff sent packing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wildcats coaching staff sent packing

August 14, 2006

 Albany - It has not been a question of if, but more of when the South Georgia Wildcats would fire head coach Donnie Davis after the team's second straight 3-13 season.

The when came Sunday when managing partner John Hunt told Davis by phone that he and the entire coaching staff would not be brought back for the 2007 season.

Donnie Davis became just the second head coach in franchise history in June of last year.

The plan of then managing partner Mike Storen was to let Davis coach the final six games in 2005 to give him a head start for this season.

The plan failed miserably.

The Wildcats lost nine of their first ten games and Mike Storen lost control of the team to John Hunt in June.

Davis was also criticized for not doing more in the offseason to recruit players to Albany and for releasing offensive specialist Antwone Savage in the first week of training camp.

Davis at the time said the team was trying to send a message to Savage and would re-sign him in a week or two.

In less than a week, Savage signed with the Spokane Shock coached by former Wildcat coach Chris Siegfried. 

John Hunt considered changing coaches when he took control of the team in June but decided to wait until the season ended.

On the day after the season ended, Donnie Davis told a group of owners including Hunt that he wanted to return as head coach in 2007.

In the meeting, Davis said that the team's dismal record was due to the lack of experienced players.

Davis said those young players had gotten better over the season and most would return to play for him next year.

He also raised concerns about some of his duties which he says took time away from his ability to coach.

General manager Darren McPhail said "I think he brought up alot of topics that ownership wanted to talk about . Maybe there are some various things that we didn't provide to help them be as successful as possible on the field. But I think when John and the ownership group sat down and evaulted things, that still wasn't enough to overcome the record on the field."

Donnie Davis did not want to comment on his firing Monday afternoon.

Davis did say it was a business decision and he understood it.

Davis added he had a good time in Albany but it is time to move on.

McPhail says the Wildcats hope to have a new head coach by next weekend.

He says the team wants its third head coach to have head coaching experience in the arena league.

He says the team has working on a list of four to five candidates but that two prospective candidates who attended the Wildcats final regular season game are no longer under consideration.  

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