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Yellow Jackets hire ex-student

By MIKE READLING

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 27, 2001


TAMPA -- What goes around, comes around. You have to take one step backward before you take one step forward. Dreams do come true.

Pick your favorite cliche because when it comes to Winston Davis, all three apply. None, however, more than the last one.

Davis, the former East Bay coach, has accepted the same position at Blake. Davis takes the job vacated by Dennis Donaldson, who accepted the job at Alonso. It is a job that will not only get Davis back on the sideline for the 25th consecutive season, but returns the coach to the school where he played for three seasons before integration forced him to attend Plant for his senior season.

"This is a dream that I've had that's come true," Davis said. "I played there, and I always wanted to go back to coach there. That was my No. 1 choice. Plant was up there, but I finally got a chance to go back to Blake."

Davis led the county in scoring during the 1969-70 season before Blake was shut down when segregation in Hillsborough County ended. He was transferred to Plant for his senior season and played in the regional final, where the Panthers lost to Winter Haven.

Davis began his coaching career at East Bay in 1980 as the girls coach. In 1984, he took over the boys team and coached until he was fired in April.

In his 24-year career, Davis has never had a winning record, although he took the Indians to the regional quarterfinal in 1997 with a 10-18 record.

It was the second time Davis had been fired from East Bay. Then-principal Vince Thompson fired him in 1987. Davis appealed that decision and received his job back with help from the Classroom Teachers Association.

"I'm going to leave all that alone," Davis said. "I'm going to miss the students and the faculty members. It was my home. But other than that, things go on. That's the way life is.

"Now I hope to end my career at Blake."

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