Each Friday during the 2017-18 academic year, the conference office will release a SCAC Spotlight feature story. For the first 13 weeks, the focus of these feature stories will be former student-athletes who played at an SCAC institution and went on to become head coaches in the conference.
In this, the seventh SCAC Spotlight feature, we sit down with first-year head women's basketball coach Sam Davidson at Schreiner University.
Sam Davidson had quite the start to her coaching career. After graduating from Birmingham Southern College in 2012, she knew she wanted to get into coaching basketball. Davidson looked right at the number 1 women’s basketball program in the country, the University of Tennessee, and said ‘yep, that’s where I want to be.’
Davidson went to Tennessee in pursuit of her master’s degree and worked under Pat Summitt with the UT women’s basketball team when she wasn’t in class. In her short, one-year stint with the Lady Vols, Davidson still remembers her feelings when she watched the legendary coach run practice.
“It was an awesome time,” Davidson said. “To be in a college program as a student in a Division III program, then to go to the top-of-the-top Division I women’s basketball program to see how everything is run, from behind the scenes to watching [Summitt and Holly Warlick] coach at practice. It was almost jaw-dropping, like ‘I’m not really sitting here watching this.’ The intensity of everything, I learned so much.”
After receiving her Masters degree in Sports Psychology from UT, Davidson found a coaching position at fellow-SCAC school Rhodes College. Working under yet another legend, Rhodes’ all-time winningest coach Matt Dean, Davidson helped coach five All-SAA players and bring in two strong recruiting classes for the Lynx.
From playing Division III to moving to Division I then back to Division III, Davidson notes one of the many reasons why she found herself back in the Division III program.
The Division III philosophy was familiar to Davidson and making the switch was easy for her.
“I think because I lived it,” Davidson said. “And I just really feel like I identify so well with the Division III philosophy of having the academic experience, being able to be a part of other clubs on campus, and just really understanding that Division III is a venue for athletes to continue their career for those four years but it’s about teaching them the things that are going to help them be successful.”
When the head coaching position opened at Schreiner, many things attracted Davidson to the position but one thing in particular caught her eye.
“It’s the SCAC,” Davidson said. “I’ve been in the SAA the past couple years, at a rival school at Rhodes College and I wanted to get back in the SCAC. I really enjoyed playing in the SCAC, it’s always been competitive, and who doesn’t want to be in Texas?”
Division III also allows Davidson to be more of a mentor to her athletes, gaining a more hands-on experience with her team.
Davidson also added that Schreiner felt a lot like BSC and home, and she and Schreiner shared similar philosophies.
Much like BSC, Davidson said Schreiner wants to give people a chance to make something of themselves, and Davidson believes the same thing.
While she’s never played in the Schreiner Events Center as a student-athlete, she’s happy to make Kerrville her home.
“Who doesn’t wasn’t to be in Texas?’ Davidson said. “I’ve heard great things about Texas and it’s lived up to it so far.”
Previous SCAC Spotlights:
11|10|2017 - Mark Hudson, Austin College
10|27|2017 - Matt Barber, University of Dallas
10|20|2017 - Jeherme Urban, Trinity University
10|13|2017 - David Foley, Centenary College
10|06|2017 - Emily Daum, Trinity University
09|29|2017 - Ryan Dodd, Austin College