During March’s NCAA tournament this year all eyes seemed to be on UConn, and for good reason but another team had actually a much more impressive run in their respective tournament; Bellarmine in the Division 2 tournament, which concluded with the now perennial powerhouse cutting down the nets, winning their first championship. And, at the core of the team is today’s Sports Legends of the Ville, head coach Scott Davenport.
The city of Louisville has seen their fair share of coaches, both good and bad and article after article has been written about each of them with seemingly one exception, Davenport, who took a last place team and turned them into national champions in just a few short years, an impressive feat, regardless of what sport or division.
A native Louisvillian, Davenport, after receiving a bachelor’s degree from UofL in 1978, rose to prominence as a coach in the 80’s with Ballard High School, a tenure which featured a state championship in 1988. After leaving Ballard, the coach was one of the twelve invited coaches to the Nike All-America camp for three years in a row in the early 90’s.
During this time he also worked as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth (in the 85-86 season) and the University of Louisville.
Like so many sports stories though, his real story seems to hinge around being the right guy at the right time, acting as a bridge of sorts during the Denny Crum/Rick Pitino eras, as Davenport worked as assistant coach for nine years before being offered the head coaching position at Bellarmine.
Instantly Davenport’s experience was demonstrated when he led the team to their first .500 season in four years, and demonstrated a turning point for a team that was struggling in their conference prior to his arrival, and just four years later, continuing the trend the Knights grabbed their first conference championship ever under Davenport’s tutelage, currently Bellarmine’s most winningest coach and after last season the only coach to lead the team to a championship Scott Davenport’s mind and talents make him a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of Bellarmine University