Stan Watchous presents Jeff Davidson with the 2017 Kansas Middle School Coach of the Year. Submitted photo
Jeff Davidson was recently named the 2017 Kansas Middle School Coach of the Year for his outstanding dedication to youth sports.
Davidson teaches 7th grade science at Pioneer Ridge Middle School and is currently the head coach for 7th grade varsity football, head coach for 8th grade varsity girls’ basketball, head coach for 7th grade varsity boys’ basketball, and head coach for boys track. He has been with USD 231 for 16 years.
Davidson came to the newly opened Wheatridge Middle School in 2001. At Wheatridge, he taught seventh grade science and assumed assistant coach responsibilities in football, boys’ and girls’ basketball and track. Jeff was instrumental in the achievement of several undefeated seasons and many league championships. Davidson was soon offered head coaching positions as they became available and was always enthusiastic about helping wherever he was needed.
During his tenure at Wheatridge and currently at Pioneer Ridge, Davidson has honed his ability to motivate athletes to push themselves to be the best they can be. Davidson has seen multiple athletes who started under his tutelage become NCAA Division I athletes, college scholarship recipients, and KSHSAA state competitors and champions.
From an athletic director’s perspective, Stan Watchous considers the character traits and leadership skills Davidson develops in his athletes to have been his greatest contribution to Wheatridge and Pioneer Ridge middle schools.
“There have been instances in which Coach Davidson has requested rule corrections and administrations from game officials even if the correction goes against his team, demonstrating that his highest priority is for the rules be administered fairly and correctly, not just in his team’s favor,” said Watchous. “There have been other instances in which I have received e-mails from the principals of schools where Jeff’s teams have just competed, expressing their appreciation, not only for the exemplary sportsmanship and unselfish, considerate conduct of Jeff and his players through the course of the game, but afterwards as well, helping the custodians put away chairs and pick up trash.”
Davidson has also been a great asset to Wheatridge and Pioneer Ridge athletics by assisting in the organization and administration of events; checking on rule interpretations and organizing the track coaching staff to produce guidebooks to volunteer event workers run off their events at the track meets.
Another contribution at the middle school level by Davidson was his creation of the “Fill the Fieldhouse” basketball event in which the student body is encouraged to attend a specific basketball game and “pack” or “fill” the gym, wearing matching spirit t-shirts designed specifically for the event. The student spectators are then encouraged to show their school and community spirit throughout the two-game event by participating in special collective cheers, drawings for prizes and a special recognition of people who have contributed their efforts and service to the Gardner and Edgerton communities (military veterans, police, fire and medical personnel, city government volunteers and officials). This event has become an institution at all three USD 231 middle schools.
“Through the years, Coach Davidson’s cooperation; impeccable record keeping; concern for the physical, emotional and academic well-being of his athletes; as well as his cooperative, calm, consistent, instructional, positive and enthusiastic approach to working with middle school student-athletes has been inspiring,” said Watchous. “I cannot imagine a more qualified or deserving middle school coach to receive this award.”