EAST BEND — Just a week after taking the Forbush softball game to within one game of the state championships, Coach Rachel Davis has decided to step down.
“It was very tough,” Davis said. “It’s one of those things I kind of knew all season.”
Davis and her husband, Seth, have an eight-month-old child. After the season, Davis informed the team of her decision.
“A lot of them told me they were going to miss me,” Davis said. “They made me feel like they did love me and that they didn’t want me to go. But they did understand.”
“I understand,” Forbush Athletic Director Burl Love said. “I was in the same position five years ago. It was more about the family than it was coaching.”
Davis succeeded Love as the softball coach at Forbush.
“I was really surprised she wanted to come back and coach this year,” Love said. “I think she saw the opportunity to make a deep run and didn’t want to give that up.
“She decided that her family had to come first.”
Love said part of the process in his stepping down was that the program would be turned over to Davis. “When she said yes,” Love said, “I was OK with stepping away.”
“She has been involved with the program for 10 years,” Starmount Coach Sarah Boles said. “She put a lot of work in with them. It’s been a successful program for so many years.”
Boles played with Davis at Forbush and in 2014 began coaching against Davis. Forbush, as Boles pointed out, returns nearly the entire team.
“It’s an interesting position,” Boles said. “ But I don’t think anyone could blame her.”
Starmount wrestling and track and field coach David Oliver, who as worked with Davis at the Student Athlete Summer Institute at Elon University, said “She is 100 per cent a kid’s coach; an athlete’s coach. She will demand discipline.
“I’ve seen her work. When you spend four days working with her side by side, you see the good and the bad. With Rachel, I’ve seen nothing but the positive.”
Forbush went 22-6 this past season, winning the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. They return many of their top players and many of those will be only juniors.
“Seth is going to try to help out,” Davis said. “He still wants to be involved. I do, too; in some capacity.
“But for me as a head coach, I have the mentality that I have to be all in. I can’t do that and be the best mom I can be.”
Love said the situation regarding Davis’s replacement is “kind of an unknown right now” and that there is no timetable for hiring a new coach.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or Twitter @elkinareasports.