"Providence Basketball has a rich tradition and storied history. Our student-athletes experience success on the court, in the classroom and in life. We are proud of our past and excited about our future." - Head Coach Keno Davis
On April 15, 2008, the Keno Davis era began at Providence College. The 36-year-old Davis became the 14th head coach of the College's storied men's basketball program.
"It is an honor to now be a part of Providence College basketball and it is a dream come true for me to be in the BIG EAST," Davis said after being introduced as the new head coach at the College. "I want to make Providence and the entire state of Rhode Island excited about college basketball. I think it's at a tipping point where we can do something special here!"
Davis quickly got to work as he guided the Friars to a 19-14 mark in 2008-09. Although the Friars were picked 12th in the 2009 BIG EAST Preseason Poll, the squad posted a 10-8 record in league play and finished tied for seventh. As he led the team to 19 victories, he established a Providence College record for the most wins by a head coach in his first season. The team's 19 overall wins and 10 BIG EAST victories marked the most by the Friars since the 2004 season. During the regular season, he saw his team earn two victories over top-15 teams, including an 81-73 win over No. 1 ranked Pittsburgh. It marked just the second time that the Friars defeated a No. 1 ranked team and the first time in 33 years. Davis also led the team to a win over DePaul in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament -- the team's first BIG EAST tourney victory since 2003. He also led the team back to the post-season as the Friars earned an at-large bid to the NIT Tournament.
In 2009-10 Davis' team was one of the top offensive squads in the country, scoring 82.4 points per game and ranking third in the nation in that category.
Davis came to PC after spending the 2007-08 season as the head coach at Drake University. Davis, a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa, was named the 2008 National Coach of the Year by six organizations, including the Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and The Sporting News.
In making the appointment, Providence College President Reverend Brian Shanley, O.P. said, "We are very excited to have Keno Davis leading our men's basketball program. We were looking for someone who could inspire and I believe he will. Keno talked to us about developing the right kind of character in his players and as a priest and a teacher, the thing I care about most with respect to athletics is not winning, but it's building character. I believe that we have a coach who will build the character of our student-athletes. And, oh yes, he will win!"
In his first season as a head coach, Davis led the Drake Bulldogs to a 28-5 mark, which included a 15-3 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. His team captured its first MVC regular season title since 1971 and its first ever MVC Tournament title. Drake became the first MVC school to win both the regular season and league tournament titles since 2002. For his efforts, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year. The Bulldogs also made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1971. Drake was defeated in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament by Western Kentucky, 101-99, in overtime.
During the 2008 season, Drake was nationally ranked for a school-record eight consecutive weeks. The Bulldogs finished ranked 14th in the Associated Press Poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Davis had all this success in his first season after inheriting a team that was 17-15 in 2007 and lost four starters to graduation. His 2008 squad was picked to finish ninth in the MVC.
"I believe Keno Davis has the knowledge, passion, commitment and ability to bring Providence College basketball to another level," Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll said. "Throughout his career he has demonstrated that he is an excellent leader and teacher. From the first moment I met Keno, I was impressed with his competitive nature and his desire to return Friar basketball to national prominence. His hiring is one of the many steps we have taken to improve the Friar men's basketball program."
Prior to being selected as the head coach at Drake, Davis served as an assistant under his father, Dr. Tom Davis, at Drake from 2003-07. He began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana. He left Southern Indiana in 1997 and took an assistant position under Gary Garner at Southeast Missouri State. He was at Southeast Missouri State for six seasons.
Although he never lived in Rhode Island prior to becoming the Friars' head coach, Davis was no stranger to New England. In fact, he spent much of his childhood just one hour from the Ocean State as he lived on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, Massachusetts adjacent to the Boston College campus. Davis' father, Tom, served as the head coach of the Eagles from 1977-82. While living in Massachusetts, Keno Davis grew to love New England and appreciate college basketball. He also saw the early days of the BIG EAST and has watched closely as the league has become a basketball powerhouse.
Keno Davis was exposed to basketball at a very young age as he watched his father as a head coach. Dr. Tom Davis is one of the winningest coaches all-time in the NCAA. In 32 seasons as a head coach at Lafayette (1971-77), Boston College (1977-82), Stanford (1982-86), Iowa (1986-99) and Drake (2003-07), he registered a 598-355 mark (.628), which included 18 post-season appearances and 16 20-win seasons. He also was named the 1987 Associated Press National Coach of the Year. When Keno earned the same honor in 2007, it marked the first time ever that a father and son duo had captured the national coach of the year honor.
Keno Davis has written two books on basketball, "Pressure Defense," which was published in 1994, and "Camp Success," published in 2004.
Davis and wife, Krista, have one son, Brady, who was born in 2007 and they have one daughter, Mara, who was born in 2010.
2008-present Head Coach, Providence College
2007-08 Head Coach, Drake University
2003-07 Assistant Coach, Drake University
1997-03 Assistant Coach, Southeast Missouri State
1995-97 Assistant Coach, Southern Indiana
2008 - Associated Press National Coach of the Year
2008 - U.S. Basketball Writers Coach of the Year
2008 - Sporting News Coach of the Year
2008 - CollegeHoops.net Coach of the Year
2008 - Basketball Times Coach of the Year
2008 - Hugh Durham Award - Mid Major Coach of the Year
2008 - Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year
YEAR SCHOOL RECORD PCT CONF. REC. FINISH TOUR. POST SEASON
2007-08 Drake 28-5 .848 15-3 1st 3-0 NCAA 0-1
2008-09 Providence 19-14 .576 10-8 8th 1-1 NIT 0-1
2009-10 Providence 12-19 .414 4-14 15th 0-1
Career 3 years 59-38 .610 29-25 1 Title 4-2 0-2
First Year at PC: 19-14/10-8
Overall at PC: 31-33/14-22
Overall at Drake: 28-5
3-Year CAREER: 59-38
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: 1-2
BIG EAST GAMES: 14-22
NON-LEAGUE GAMES AT PC: 17-10
NCAA TOURNAMENT: 0-1 (2008)
NIT: 0-1 (2009)
The Davis Facts File
Wife, Krista; son, Brady; daughter, Mara
2009-2010 (12-19/4-14)...Led Providence to a 12-19 record...Defeated #19 Connecticut on January 27th...Ranked number two in scoring offense during BIG EAST play (79.6 ppg) and third in the nation in 2009-10 (82.4 ppg).
2008-09 (19-14/10-8)...Led Providence to a 19-14 record and the school's 18th NIT appearance...The 19 wins and 10 BIG EAST victories were the most by the Friars since the 2003-04 season and the most by a first year coach at PC...Registered a 10-8 mark and seventh place finish in the BIG EAST...Helped Providence record the school's first BIG EAST Tournament victory since 2002-03 with an 83-74 victory over DePaul in the Second Round...PC earned two wins over ranked teams, including a 100-94 victory over No. 15 Syracuse and an 81-73 triumph versus No. 1 Pittsburgh...The victory over Pitt marked the school's first victory over a No. 1 ranked team since the 1976-77 season.
2007-08 (28-5/15-3)...Earned six National Coach of the Year honors, including, Associated Press, U.S. Basketball Writers Association and The Sporting News... Led Drake to a 28-5 mark and its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971... His team captured its first MVC regular season title since 1971 and its first ever MVC Tournament title... Drake became the first MVC school to win both the regular season and league tournament titles since 2002. ... Was named MVC Coach of the Year... Registered a 15-3 mark in MVC action.... Drake was nationally ranked for a school-record eight consecutive weeks and finished 14th in the Associated Press Final Poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Final Poll...