Gus Davis
Gus Davis
PAULDING — Greg “Gus” Davis was named the head girls basketball coach by the Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education on Tuesday evening during the board’s April meeting.

Davis spent 13 seasons as the head girls basketball coach at Wayne Trace High School before stepping away after the 2012-13 season to spend more time with his grandkids and to enjoy being a grandpa.

It’s been a few years since Davis has roamed the sidelines and he never considered coming back to coaching until he realized his competitive nature had returned.

“When I got the competitive nature back in me, I started wanting to coach again and the only places I could coach because of my job are Wayne Trace or Paulding,” said Davis, who is a groundsman and bus driver for the Wayne Trace Local School District.

“When the Paulding job came open, I thought I would go ahead and try coaching again. Hopefully, I can come to Paulding and get the girls to compete. That is my goal, just to get them to compete every day.”

Davis spent 15 seasons at Wayne Trace, including a year of junior high and a year of junior varsity coaching before being named the varsity coach before the 2000-01 season.

During his time at Wayne Trace, Davis accumulated a record of 135-143 and won four consecutive Green Meadows Conference championships, including the program’s first league title in 2008 after a 17-6 season.

Davis and his teams won the GMC from 2008 to 2011, which was highlighted by his best season of 21-1 during the 2010-11 season.

In those four seasons, the Raiders played their best defense under Davis.

During the 2007-08 season, Wayne Trace scored a total of 1,319 points and allowed 1,046, but it only improved from there.

The least amount of points the Raiders allowed in a season under Davis was 928 and that happened during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

In Davis’s best season of 21-1, his Lady Raiders kept their opponents to a total of 943 points.

“All those years, Wayne Trace and Paulding were competitors and it still is a big rivalry,” Davis said.

“It will be the hardest game of the year when they play each other. To put things in perspective, I will have a job to do to get the girls competing and I’ll compete just as hard that night as I would any other night.”

Davis will replace Mark Rhodes, who went 8-37 and 3-12 in the Northwest Conference in two seasons at the helm.

“I think we are going to try to get up and down the floor,” Davis said. “You have to work on your skills and you have to be able to handle the ball and that is hopefully one thing the people see a change in.

“I haven’t seen anyone yet put the ball on their arm and run with it and we have to handle the ball and make things happen. I won’t condemn anyone for taking a wide-open 15 footer, they will know their limitations and it will take time for me to know their limitations.”

Davis has been coaching long enough to know that teams are going to have bad shooting nights, but he wants the girls to have the desire to play and the desire to compete night-in and night-out no matter the circumstances.

“You are going to have trouble scoring some nights,” Davis said.

“I had that with my best teams before, but you can always make something out of nothing.”

The Panthers girls basketball program has not had a winning season since the 2003-04 season when they went 16-6. That season is also the last time the program won the NWC, but Davis believes turning this program around starts with confidence.

“We may not be able to shoot, but we can make up with it with our defense,” Davis said.

“If we get beat shooting 40 good shots where they just don’t fall and as long as we are getting after it on defense by getting some steals and then putting ourselves into position, that is all I can ask of them.”