Jordan High School to have vast turnover in athletics

jalexander@newsobserver.comJune 9, 2014 

— Six head coaches at Jordan High School for seven sports and their athletic director, David Davis, are stepping down from their positions next year, leaving some to question why such a vast turnover.

One coach, Erik Cain coaches two sports, boy’s and girl’s tennis. That leaves the school with eight sports positions to be filled.

“It is strange with that many in one year, but it’s just one of those things where the stars are kind of aligned,” Davis said.

Also among the coaches leaving are boys’ track coach Chris Starkey, who Davis said is hoping to become an administrator. Starkey won four of the last five PAC-6 conference championships.

Davis said baseball coach Devy Bell, and wrestling coach Phil Davanzo will stay on as teachers but step down as coaches to spend more time at home.

The boys’ lacrosse coach Jamie Sliwa, is going to Northern High School to fill the Knights’ coaching vacancy and also be closer to home.

Davis said he was not surprised that the coaches were leaving.

“Most had let me know before the end of the season that they weren’t coming back next year,” he said. “People move or get a better opportunity somewhere else. All of them did outstanding jobs, but they have their own obligations and agendas.

Davis will not take part in the hiring process because he too will leave. Davis said he will retire after having spent 27 years at Jordan High School, 15 as the director of athletics.

“I’m sure that our principal is looking for a replacement for me,” Davis said. “It’s something that I’ve been playing with for a while. It wasn’t until I actually walked into the principal’s office and handed him my resignation letter that it hit me. It’s time for somebody else to put a new set of eyes on things.”

He said he had mixed emotions but wouldn’t indicate there was any turmoil within the athletic department.

“It was time for me to leave,” he said.

Efforts to reach Jordan High School principal Jerome Leathers were unsuccessful.

Other Durham schools also have had coaching changes.

Darius Robinson, Southern’s athletic director, will replace Adrian Jones as the school’s football coach. Jones resigned in January to become N.C. Central’s running back coach.

Chris Howell will replace former Riverside High School football coach David Hackney, who left for an administrative position at Southern High School.

Alexander: 919-932-2008; Twitter: @jonmalexander1

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