Record file — South Whidbey girls basketball coach Andy Davis (kneeling) resigned. Assistant coach Jeff Hanson (behind Davis) was hired to take over.

Davis steps down as girls basketball head coach

Andy Davis has resigned as South Whidbey girls basketball’s head coach.

Davis led the program for seven seasons and reached the postseason in four of them, compiling a 46-97 record. Altogether, the high school math teacher coached for 27 years at the middle school and high school levels, including stints as head coach of the Falcon boys basketball and football teams. He was also named the Cascade Conference’s coach of the year following the 2015-16 girls basketball season.

Jeff Hanson, a longtime assistant coach under Davis and former Falcon standout athlete, was hired as his replacement.

Davis declined to comment on the specifics of his resignation. He considers Hanson, who he said is one of his best friends on the island, as the “perfect” person to lead the team.

“He’s an island guy and a legend here as an athlete as well,” said Davis, who is currently an assistant coach for the Falcon football team. “I think he’s an awesome hire.”

“I think he’s going to go with the direction he’s going to go, but he’s going to bring some knowledge for sure. The girls trust him,” he added.

South Whidbey Athletic Director Paul Lagerstedt said the program will miss Davis for his goofy personality, but also strong demeanor when it comes to coaching.

“He’s a coach’s coach and player’s coach,” Lagerstedt said. “He did a great job of teaching lessons through his coaching philosophies. He made it fun for the girls and he was always trying to do something goofy and funny, which is really important.”

The Falcons reached the class 1A District 1 Championships the past two years in a row. The 2016-17 team faced adversity with a number of injuries and sickness; the squad had only six varsity players at practice at times. But, the Falcons still managed to reach the postseason and give Mount Baker, the eventual state champions, a run for its money in a 55-44 season-ending loss at home.

Lagerstedt credited Davis for the keeping the team glued together despite the setbacks from this past season.

“His teams were always solid, well prepared and well coached,” Lagerstedt said.

Falcon senior Kolby Heggenes, who played for Davis and Hanson the past three years, said she’ll miss Davis’s presence “as a person” and “his goofy aspects.”

“It was just such a good time with him,” Heggenes said.

She’s also optimistic about the direction Hanson will take the program. Heggenes believes that in terms of familiarity, the Falcons are at an advantage because Hanson has been around the team for years.

“I think it helps because he knows us,” Heggenes said. “He knows what we are on our crazy days. He can deal with us well.”

Hanson, who was an assistant coach for Davis as well as the late Henry Pope, said he’s excited to take over the reins of the program and ensure “it’s a smooth transition.” Hanson, who was a point guard for the Falcons in the mid-1980s and led the Falcons to the state football semifinals as a quarterback in 1986, said he’s learned a great deal from Davis and Pope over the years. He shares many of the same philosophies as Davis, but added that he won’t be the exact same coach.

His goals for the team are to have fun and develop girls who will take over for five graduated seniors from the 2016-17 team.

“We lost a lot of girls to graduation, but there’s always girls that can step up and take over that position,” Hanson said. “I’d like to think we can be as good or better than last year.”

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