Bellarmine, Davenport agree to contract extension

Bellarmine University announced today that the school and head men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport have reached a contract agreement that essentially assures his position at Bellarmine until his retirement.

“Bellarmine University’s basketball program is one of which we can be very proud,” said Bellarmine President Dr. Susan M. Donovan. “Over the past decade, the Knights have enjoyed nearly unparalleled success on the court while also ensuring the graduation of our student-athletes. That is an ideal student-athlete experience, and we want to ensure that Bellarmine continues to provide that experience under Coach Davenport’s direction for as long as possible.”

“Coach Davenport’s record speaks for itself,” said Bellarmine Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt. “Recognizing that type of success with a long-term contract is not only the right thing to do, it signals to recruits and parents that we are committed to a high level of excellence, and that they can rely on that commitment for years to come.”

“I was taught early on basketball is all about team,” Davenport said. “Bellarmine basketball has stressed ‘team,’ and I am thrilled with this extension because it has been made possible a tremendous ‘team.’ The players first and foremost along with an outstanding administration and a great athletic director, assistant coaches and department have allowed us to compete and be successful at the highest level.”

“Bellarmine is a very special place to coach every single day,” Davenport added. “In my opinion the individuals who make up the Bellarmine community and the support we receive is a key factor in our success on and off the floor. The most important element in our success is our players are outstanding on the court and the lead the way in our recruiting efforts. Talented prospects/students want to play with other talented players/individuals.  Just as I tell our players every single day, this is the greatest time your life. I truly believe this applies to me as well!”

Davenport became the 11th coach in Bellarmine University men’s basketball history on April 29, 2005. Taking over a program that had made the NCAA tournament field just nine times in more than 50 years of competition, Davenport transformed the Knights into one of the premier NCAA Division II teams. In the past nine years, Bellarmine has made the NCAA tourney field every season, winning the national championship in 2011 and making four “Final Four” appearances. Davenport boasts an NCAA tournament coaching record of 23-8 for a 74.2 winning percentage—the highest in the country for any active Division II Coach.

Overall, Davenport is 287-93 in his tenure at Bellarmine, and his 75.5 winning percentage ranks sixth nationally among active Division II coaches. He earned “National Coach of the Year” honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2011 and is a three-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

Since 2007, 37 players have completed their eligibility in men’s basketball under Coach Davenport, and 34 have earned Bellarmine degrees (92 percent). All three players who did not earn their degrees are currently pursuing careers in professional basketball.

Prior to becoming head coach at Bellarmine, Davenport served nine years as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville under national championship-winning Hall of Fame coaches Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. He also served a year as an assistant coach on Mike Pollio’s staff at Virginia Commonwealth where he coached alongside future Kentucky coach Tubby Smith.

Before heading to the University of Louisville, Davenport spent 10 seasons as the head boys’ coach at Ballard High School, where he won a state championship in 1988 and coached two future NBA players in DeJuan Wheat and Allan Houston.

A Louisville native, Davenport and his wife, Sharon, have two sons, Russ and Doug, who are both Bellarmine graduates.

Tagged with: