OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University Athletic Director David Sayler announced Monday (July 1) that Mark Davis has been named the new head coach of the women’s swimming and diving team. He has spent the past six seasons as an assistant for the RedHawks under retiring head coach Dave Jennings.
“We’re real excited to have Mark Davis take the position to become our next head coach and build on the success that he has helped be a part of with Dave Jennings and his staff,” said Sayler. “We look for Mark to continue the trend of winning MAC Championships, graduating our student-athletes and letting them achieve records in the classroom, which they’ve been doing the last few years, as well.”
The RedHawks have won two MAC Championships during Davis’ six-year tenure as an assistant coach, in 2009 and 2013. He assisted in coaching 16 individual MAC Champions and three relay championship teams. In four of his six seasons, the Red and White have qualified swimmers for the NCAA Championships, led by Kelsey Vehr becoming the first All-American in school history. During his time at Miami, seven swimmers have qualified for the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials, while 53 school records have been broken. Miami has also seen a lot of academic success with a total of 22 athletes receiving 32 Academic All-MAC awards the past six seasons. The team has increased its overall GPA from 3.22 to 3.53 since Davis has arrived.
“I would like to thank Athletic Director David Sayler and Associate Athletic Director Jennie Gilbert for allowing me the opportunity to continue the great tradition of Miami Women's Swimming and Diving,” said Davis. “I am excited to be a part of this great Athletic Department, family and team. When I came here 6 years ago, I was like our freshmen, I knew I really liked Miami, but after a short time here I fell in love with Miami. As everyone says Miami is about the people. There is no other place I wanted to be.”
Prior to his time with Miami, Davis was the head coach of Centerville High School from 1996-2007. During his tenure, Davis guided the Elks to 12 conference championships and 12 sectional titles. On the women's side, Davis' squads won two Southwest District championships and finished as the district runner-up five times, each coming in his last seven seasons. In his finest season with the Elks, Davis led his women's squad to the 2004 Ohio Division I State Championship. Centerville swimmers broke all but two school records under Davis' watch, and he mentored state champions, state record holders and numerous All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.
Davis also was a successful club coach, leading the WTRC Sharks from 1992-2007. Helping the program grow from 30 to 200 swimmers, Davis mentored numerous U.S. Open Champions, sectional champions, junior national and senior national finalists and one Olympic Trials semifinalist. He primarily served as the coach of the Sharks' senior group, which is for all high-school aged swimmers. The Sharks were recognized as a Silver Medal Club of Excellence by USA Swimming.
A native of St. Marys, Ohio, Davis earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Dayton. He has earned his Level 4 coaching license from the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA).
Davis knows he is taking over for Miami Hall of Famer in Dave Jennings, but believes he is up for the task.
“Dave Jennings has been an outstanding mentor and friend,” said Davis. “It is amazing what he has accomplished in the past 31 years. They always say it is tough to replace a legend, but after working with him for the past six years, I look at it as an honor to be able to carry on his work here at Miami.
“I am excited to be able to continue to work with some of the best athletes and most hardworking student-athletes. They are an outstanding group of women. We have continued to climb up the ladder, and I am anxious to see how high we can get.”