GAME NIGHT: Eldon's defensive coordinator brings decades of experience to new role
Colby Davis simply could not stay away from the game.
With over two decades of football coaching experience, including two years with Eldon’s middle school program, he thought he might take a little break with three daughters who play volleyball and an eight-year-old son also involved in sports. When a position came open up in the high school ranks after this past season, he soon found himself back on a gridiron once again.
“Life was busy,” Davis said of his family’s schedule. “This came open, I talked to Coach (Chad) Hult and some of the other coaches about it and decided it would be a good opportunity despite how busy we are as a family.”
Whether it is his own kids or his football kids, there is just something rewarding about the process of helping kids find a successful path. It is something he has enjoyed since he began his coaching career in the mid-90s.
“Being around kids and watching kids have success, seeing a kid come in who is a soft freshman and leaves as a beast as a senior,” the assistant explained. “Watching kids grow and mature on and off the field and watching the type of people they become after high school, that is the enjoyable part of it. The wins and losses take care of themselves, but the relationship with the kids and community is the important thing about coaching.”
Originally from west central Illinois, Davis started coaching at his alma mater Yorkwood High School, a school that no longer exists due to consolidation. His own graduating class consisted of just 31 kids.
After coaching for eight or nine years at various schools in Illinois, he moved to Lake St. Louis where he started teaching at Wentzville and coaching at St. Dominic High School. The journey of his career eventually led him to Eldon where he decided to coach at his wife’s alma mater for a change and after finally returning to the high school ranks, the summer has been an interesting one in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been crazy. The kids have been great about being flexible, understanding the situation and doing the right things and what needs to be done to protect ourselves and everyone else,” he said of the past few months where some summer practices have been shut down out of precaution. “They’ve come in the mornings with weights and conditioning, have worked hard and have had great attitudes through the entire summer. We have to continue to have good attitudes and work harder because we have a lot to improve on off last year’s season.”
Even with a virus hanging around and being the new guy on the coaching staff, the adjustment has been a smooth one from that aspect of the job and it has been a working environment he feels comfortable in.
“The coaching staff is awesome. We get along really well, have great communication and are able to bounce ideas off one another and ask questions, get feedback and give input so it is a really good coaching staff to work with,” the defensive coordinator noted.
And the coach should know with a coaching background that goes back to before any of the current Mustangs were born. Over the years, he has picked up a few memories that still stick with him to this day.
“Going back to 1997 or 1998 at Yorkwood, it had been since the mid-80s that they had been in the playoffs and so we were one of the lower seeds and took a road trip up to one of the top seeds and knocked them off 15-7. By far, that was fun,” Davis recalled with a smile.
Then there was St. Dominic’s first district championship in one of his first years with the program.
“Getting that first district championship win for St. Dominic, it was a 3-0 game,” he remarked. “We kicked a field goal late in the game to secure that. That was a lot of fun, those close games and big wins are the ones that you remember.”
Through it all, Davis has enjoyed his role as an assistant and will leave the spotlight for the head coach after each game.
“I enjoy being an assistant coach. To see what the head coaches go through, I’ll let them keep that misery and I’ll just stay at that assistant coaching spot,” he joked. “That is a perfect fit for me.”
Editor’s Note: This is part three in a four-part series highlighting assistant football coaches around the Lake area and the work they do behind the scenes. Originally intended for the “Game Night” football tab, which was temporarily suspended this year due to COVID-19, we are presenting this feature series now that has become a “Game Night” tradition.