Davey continues father’s coaching legacy 

September 29, 2023 — by Nicole Lee
Photo by Emma Fung
History teacher Mike Davey coaching the softball team during the 2023 season.
Inspired by his father’s coaching at Santa Clara University, Stanford and UC Berkeley, Davey decides to take on more responsibilities by coaching two school teams.

Longtime history teacher Mike Davey has continued his father Dick Davey’s legacy while coaching multiple sports in his 30 years at the school: both girls’ and boys’ basketball as well as softball.

Dick Davey coached the Santa Clara University men’s team for 16 years and is most famous for recruiting and coaching NBA Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash. Mike Davey grew up watching the impact his dad had upon the young men on his teams.

Mike Davey — who currently coaches both the varsity boys’ basketball and varsity softball teams — said he did not initially plan to coach two teams, but is happy for the opportunity to support students.  

He first started coaching the boys’ basketball team in 1998. After switching from coaching boys’ to girls’ basketball in 2008 so as to be able to coach both of his daughters, he returned to coaching the boys’ team last year.

His interest in coaching softball goes back to his time playing baseball in high school. When one of his daughters joined the softball team, he helped out as an assistant coach; however, when previous head coach Chris Smith passed away in 2017, he stepped up to fill the role.

Despite the joy he gains from coaching and seeing players improve, Davey said he struggles with the time-consuming nature of coaching sports, especially since he is a full-time teacher. Being an on-campus coach requires him to stay after school for many hours — oftentimes for little or no pay.

“A normal teacher can go home at 3:30 or four, but I’m here until eight o’clock at night,” Davey said. “It continues to take a lot of time I would otherwise spend with my family. It’s a lot of work and as I get older, it gets harder.”

Because of how coaches are paid, any supplemental practice coaches hold outside of the season are completely unpaid. Even practices held after CCS aren’t paid, since those are considered outside the sports season.

“You do it for the kids, but it’s frustrating that the school doesn’t appreciate on-campus coaches enough,” Davey said. “Kids can come in; like a student just came in and asked me to write his green sheet because I’m his coach, and those kinds of things, but the school doesn’t provide any bonus for an on-campus teacher to do this.”

Even so, Davey noted how rewarding coaching and teaching students outside of school is. In particular, he said he loves being able to celebrate many of the team’s achievements with the same joy his players feel.

“I think the most special moment was when we won CCS with the girls’ basketball team in 2016. We won it at Santa Clara University where my dad coached all those years,” Davey said. “My daughter had a huge 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter that kind of sealed the win, so that was pretty special.”

Davey also feels that the connections he makes with his students is an invaluable takeaway from his coaching experience. It is the biggest reason why he is willing to spend so many hours after school helping athletes, and why he has continued coaching even after 25 years.

“Coaching is for the kids as much as possible,” Davey said. “I think I’m very close to a lot of former players that I’ve coached.”

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