Doug Davenport named “Coach-in-Waiting” at Bellarmine

Bellarmine University Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt announced today that the university has taken steps to ensure the continuity of the men’s basketball program by naming Doug Davenport as the Coach-in-Waiting, which essentially provides for the reins of the Bellarmine men’s basketball program to be transferred to Doug Davenport when his father, Scott Davenport, decides to retire.

“While Coach Scott Davenport has no immediate plans to retire, we can now say the Davenport era of men’s basketball will continue even after he decides to step away,” Wiegandt said, adding there are a number of advantages to make the announcement now.

“First, it signals to recruits and other constituencies that the current brand of Bellarmine Basketball will be maintained,” Wiegandt said. “Having played here, Doug really understands the culture of the program, and as an alumnus, knows first-hand the rigors of Bellarmine academics and how to win with ‘Bellarmine-type’ of players.” 

Wiegandt added that perhaps the most important aspect of keeping the continuity of the men’s program is knowledge of the Davenport system.  “Our team is very system-based,” Wiegandt said, “and going forward after Scotty’s retirement, I can think of no one better-qualified to take over than one of the chief architects of that system.”

Beyond his deep knowledge of Bellarmine basketball, Wiegandt said Doug Davenport would be a solid choice based purely on his coaching resume. “Doug is a rising star in the coaching industry with experience that includes working for top-level programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Eastern Kentucky.”

Doug Davenport is appreciative for the vote of confidence and the commitment Bellarmine is making. “First, my wife, Alex, and I want to thank Dr. Susan Donovan for her support and belief in how we do things as a basketball program,” Davenport said. “Secondly, thank you to Scott Wiegandt for the confidence he has in our staff’s ability to continue to raise the bar with regard to Bellarmine Basketball.

The younger Davenport expressed more appreciation to those within the men’s basketball program. “Obviously, we owe an incredible amount of gratitude to my father for laying down the foundation and taking the program to its current heights, without his leadership over the past 17 years, this wouldn’t be possible.” He added, “To the players, from the guys before my father’s arrival, to my teammates to our most recent graduates, the program will forever owe you all for your contributions, and none of this would be possible without you all.”

A 2010 graduate of Bellarmine, Doug Davenport played for the Knights all four years before embarking on his coaching career at Xavier University where we he earned a master’s in education in 2012. He went on to serve on Coach Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville from 2012-2015 (2013 NCAA champions, 2015 NCAA Elite Eight) before moving on to Eastern Kentucky University in 2015-16 where he served under Coach Dan McHale.

Since joining his father’s coaching staff prior to the 2016-17 season, he has helped guide the Knights to three straight Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, an NCAA Division II Final Four appearance, and a highly successful transition as an NCAA Division I school. In 2020-21—the first year in Division I—Bellarmine sported a 14-8 record overall and earned an invitation to a national postseason tournament (CBI) after falling just one game shy of capturing the ASUN Conference regular-season crown.  This past season, the Knights eclipsed their accomplishments of the previous year by capturing the ASUN Conference crown and notching the first 20-win season in Bellarmine’s DI era.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the basketball program at my alma mater,” Doug Davenport said. “This is a job I’ve aspired to since I enrolled at Bellarmine in 2006. The job our staff has done as we’ve transitioned to the ASUN and Division I may have surprised many outside of our campus community, but we had steadfast belief in our way of doing things and we stuck to them. We, as a staff, wholeheartedly believe the basketball program and university are only beginning to scratch the surface of our potential. We will work tirelessly and selflessly to ensure the program remains on an upward trajectory.”



“Sharon and I are very proud of Doug and this tremendous recognition of his passion, dedication and vision concerning everything Bellarmine University specifically Bellarmine Basketball. This is equally true of Russ, Ashley, Russ’s wife, and Alex, Doug’s wife. We are proud of our family! To be successful in all endeavors takes everybody. This is, and has always been, about family!

I have always been very proud of Doug from his career as a player at Bellarmine through a phenomenal career path under Coaches Pitino, Mack and McHale. Doug’s future has been shaped by outstanding professionals, the absolute best of the best on and off the floor.  His performance on the court will never come close to how proud I am of Doug as a leader and his passion for the game of basketball. He puts the young men in OUR program first on and off the court and demands excellence based on how much he cares. Caring is a special talent!

Doug embraces each and every member (players, managers, assistants and staff) of OUR program putting them in a position to be a part of a program bigger than any individual which brings out the best in everyone. He believes and demonstrates daily in the power of TEAM, everyone striving to reach their goals and being willing to pay the price to achieve their goals, TOGETHER!”


Doug Davenport is a laser-focused and hard-working young coach. Bellarmine will be in great hands with the time comes and Doug takes the reins from Scotty. I’ve known Doug most of his life, and he is a tremendous young man and will be a great leader for Knights Basketball. The rise of Bellarmine basketball under the Davenports has been remarkable, and it will continue!!!”