Once a Tomcat… Always a Tomcat
Davis Returns to Roots as the New Head Coach of Ashland Kittens
The Ashland Beacon
For as long as Stacy Franz Davis can remember, basketball has always played a huge role in her life. Davis’ love for the game developed at a very young age and has since flourished into an unquenchable desire to help others develop that same passion.
At age 10, Davis took the courts for the first time and hasn’t seemed to ever put the ball down since. Growing up, young Davis had many role models and sources of inspiration. Davis shared that the biggest role models were her grandparents… “Murmur (Glwanda Franz) and Granddad (C. Wayne Franz M.D.),” noted Davis. “From a very young age, I have always looked up to my grandparents. Growing up and living next door to them, I always spent a lot of time with them. They were the two faces I saw at every event during my childhood. They were the most caring and kind people you could ever meet. They were my heroes. From a very young age, they taught me through their actions that the values of integrity, perseverance, hard work, determination, and passion were needed in all aspects of life to succeed,” added Davis. Having a role model is so important and vital to the development of our youth. A role model provides a positive influence to give everything your absolute all, encourages you to pick yourself up and try again in the face of adversity, and most importantly loves and guides you through any obstacles that life may throw at you. Davis certainly had two of the best role models that anyone could have been blessed with in life.
Davis’ basketball career continued through her middle and high school years. Davis played ball within the Ashland Independent School system all the way up to her graduation at Paul G. Blazer High School. She then went on to play basketball at Transylvania University on a basketball scholarship, which she received her senior year a Paul G. Blazer High School. During her years at Transylvania University, Davis impressed everyone with her talent, determination and love of the game. Her experience as a point guard earned Davis many awards and recognitions. Davis was named Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive Player. Davis also earned the honor of being named to theMid-South All Region Team. As Davis’ senior year at Transylvania University was quickly coming to a close, she realized that she wanted to pursue coaching. “It wasn’t until I began working with the Don Lane basketball camps and teaching the youth the skills and fundamentals of basketball that I realized I wanted to coach. I realized that my career as a player was eventually coming to an end, but my passion for the sport was still just as strong as ever. I realized that I really enjoyed teaching others about the game,” shared Davis.
After college, Davis began coaching the elementary level at Catlettsburg Elementary School and Summit Elementary School. Davis continued her coaching career at the middle school level by coaching Boyd County Middle School’s Seventh Grade Boys Team. It wasn’t until later that Davis was offered the position as freshman coach at Boyd County High School and later worked under Pete Fraley as the assistant varsity coach from 1997-2005. Davis continued her coaching career and soon found herself coaching at Ashland Middle School. Throughout the years, Davis had the opportunity to help shape the skills and minds of countless young ballplayers. Davis instilled in them what she considers the most important characteristics of any young ballplayer, “One must have a good sense of awareness about the game. Determination, confidence, being coachable and passionate about the game is a must. Being a great teammate is also of great importance. To be a good ballplayer, you have to embody all these characteristics, as well as have a certain degree of mental toughness about you. The ability to self-motivate, and of course, be competitive plays an important role in any sport,” noted Davis.
Davis now finds herself living her dream come true. Recently, Davis was offered the position of head basketball coach for Paul G Blazer’s Kittens. For Davis, this opportunity is a dream come true and one that she doesn’t take lightly. “It is an honor and privilege to be chosen as the head coach of the Ashland Kittens. To have this opportunity to coach at my alma mater is truly a dream come true. I am beyond blessed. This coaching position opened up at the right time in my life. I know it’s all just part of God’s plan,” stated Davis. As a former Tomcat herself, Davis takes great pride in being able to don the maroon and white again. “I am so excited to be able to give back to the school, program, and community that has played such a big part in helping define who I am today. My hope is that I can have the same impact on these athletes.” Davis has described her time at Ashland as a student athlete, “I have shed so much blood, so much sweat, and so many tears for the Maroon and White. It is my goal to instill those same qualities in our current and future Kittens. I want them to understand that it is a privilege to be a student athlete at Ashland Blazer High School.”
Up until now, Davis has typically coached boys basketball, so making the switch from boys to girls brings with it a new set of challenges. “Girls tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves more and have a real desire to be accepted. For girls, it’s a bit different because they want you as a coach to know them as a whole person and not just a player. I’ve also noticed that girls are more afraid to fail and need more bonding time to grow as a team. I love that they have that need to bond more as a team.” For Davis, this brings back some of her most fond memories of her own basketball journey through the years, “There is just something so special about the bond you make with your teammates. My fondest memories are from the true friendships and bonds that formed with my fellow teammates. All our times on the bus, locker-room chats and overnight trips make for some of the best memories that I will forever cherish.” The team has a motto now that Davis is the head coach for the Ashland Kittens, “Our team motto is all about sisterhood. We achieve through various team building/bonding activities. I’m a firm believer in team bonding.” Team bonding occurs not only on the courts but off the courts, as well. “We do team activities, team sleepovers, team lock-ins, team community events, meals as a team, and even team movie nights. All of these provide the girls with an opportunity to really get to know the sisters that they share the court with,” noted Davis.
Davis has big plans for the Ashland Kittens in the years to come. To start out, Davis wants to make sure that the team grows both on and off the court and they all develop an understanding of this new coaching system. Davis stated, “I want to build a championship level program. A program that not only establishes core values for the team but one that is also active in the community. I want these girls to really understand what it means to “RepTheA” and to take pride in wearing maroon and white. I want us to have the program that makes it as a state contender year in and year out—a program that our athletes, our school, and community can take pride in.” One thing is for certain, Davis truly understands what it means to be a Tomcat and bleed maroon and white down to her core. This season is sure to be an exciting one with Davis at the helm, and we can’t wait to see what those Kittens can do.