Will Davis, who served on staff at one of the nation’s most prestigious programs in LSU for eight seasons before posting a season under Lamar Hall of Fame coach Jim Gilligan, is in his first season at the helm of the Cardinal baseball team.
His presence was immediately felt in the 2016 season as the Cardinals posted a 14-game improvement, which included a 15-game win streak and wins over nationally-prominent programs such as LSU, Arizona and Texas.
With Lamar in 2016, he helped LU to six wins over teams that went on to compete in the NCAA Regionals and a fourth seed in the Southland Conference Tournament, highest seed since 2009.
Davis, 32, was given the obligation to work in catcher development as well as base running. He aided Bryndan Arredondo to first-team All-Southland Conference honors, first catcher to do so since Michael Ambort in 2007. Arredondo was one of four on the top team and five overall.
The son of former Louisiana Tech head coach Randy Davis, he saw tremendous success with his alma mater, including a 2009 College World Series Championship, in which LSU downed Texas in three games. That season wrapped up with a 56-17 record, one of three 50-win campaigns with Davis on staff.
Davis has been a part of four College World Series, three Southeastern Conference Championship and five SEC Tournament Championship teams. He advanced to at least the NCAA Regionals every season but one while he was on staff and won five SEC West Division Championships.
He began his coaching career as the director of baseball operations at LSU in 2008, but was quickly promoted to assistant coach just one year later. Since, the Baton Rouge, La. native has coached in both the first and third base boxes along with the catcher and outfield position groups. He was a student assistant and bullpen coordinator in 2007 after his playing career ended.
After he was designated as a recruiter, directed to find Louisiana prospects, in 2011, he aided the Tigers to five-straight top-10 ranked signing classes, including the 2014 group that was voted No. 1 by Perfect Game. In that time, he recruited four student-athletes from Louisiana alone that were eventual top 10 round picks in the Major League Amateur Baseball Draft.
He was key in recruiting Kade Scivicque who was picked as a first-team All-American and fourth-round draft pick. Not only did Davis recruit Scivicque, but after Davis was given the catchers position group he developed the senior into a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, annually given to the nation’s top catcher.
He was also a key component of Mark Laird’s career, a ninth round selection in the MLB draft and All-SEC Defensive Team member; Laird was recruited out of Monroe, La. by Davis. His judge of talent extends to the mound as well, he found and signed Austin Bain who was able to claim a spot in LSU’s weekend rotation as a freshman.
Other than the Tigers’ top recruiting class in 2014, they ranked fourth in 2012, seventh in 2011 and 2015 and 10th in 2013. Along with his recruiting responsibilities, he was the director of the LSU Showcase Camps, which has aided in the discovery and signing of 37 high school athletes.
The former catcher began his work with the position in 2015, and helped two catchers on staff get drafted in the same draft, Scivique and Chris Chinea. Chinea was taken in the 17th round.
Under his tutelage, LSU’s outfielders gained a reputation as being one of the best position groups in the nation. In 2013, the Tiger outfield committed just one error in 68 games. He helped in the development of Mikie Mahtook, now a major leaguer with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was an All-SEC Defensive Team selection along with Laird (2015) and Andrew Stevenson (2014-15).
Offensively, he helped with the development of position players at the plate. Last season, the Tigers led the SEC in 10 offensive categories, including batting average with a .322 mark. In 2014, they ranked second in the league in scoring (6.3 runs per game) and slugging percentage (.415). LSU led the conference in hits (722), doubles (128) and total bases (1,023), and ranked second in batting average (.305), runs (439), runs batted in (394), home runs (47), on-base percentage (.389) and slugging (.432) in 2013.
He was also in charge of LSU’s Baseball Camps, the director for the “Coaches Committee” booster club, direct liaison of the LSU Baseball Alumni and oversaw all summer baseball placements for LSU’s athletes.
Davis was a Tiger from 2004-07, and was a letterman on the 2004 College World Series team. He is married to the former Danielle Hall of Bogalusa, La., who was a member of the LSU Golden Girl squad. He graduated with a bachelors in secondary education (2007) and masters in kinesiology (2010), and was born May 29, 1984.