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April 11, 2013

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Bellarmine, Davenport agree to five-year extension

Veteran coach guided Knights to 2011 NCAA D-II title

LOUISVILLE — LOUISVILLE — Bellarmine University announced on Thursday that it has renewed and extended an agreement with men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport that will keep him in his current position for an additional five years.

“The development of our men’s basketball program to a nationally competitive level is attributable to the leadership of Coach Davenport and his staff,” said Bellarmine President Joseph J. McGowan. “The Bellarmine University community and I want to send him a clear message of strong support to encourage his achievement over the next five years.”

Davenport came to Bellarmine in 2005 and in six years took a team that had finished last in the Great Lakes Valley Conference to the NCAA Division II national title in 2011.

In his eight years as Bellarmine coach, Davenport is 178-70 with an incredible 15-4 mark in the NCAA tournament. His teams have won two GLVC tournament and regular-season titles and appeared in five consecutive NCAA tournaments with two Final Fours and the national title. Davenport has twice been named as the Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year and earned national Coach of the Year honors in 2011.

“Every year, coaching positions become available that may tempt Division II coaches from making the leap to Division I, so we wanted to ensure that Coach Davenport was happy to stay at Bellarmine and in Louisville, which over the last three years has proven to be the best city in America for NCAA basketball action,” said Bellarmine director of athletics Scott Wiegandt.

Since 2011, the NCAA Division II Knights and the NCAA Division I University of Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball programs have combined to win two national championships and make four trips to Final Fours.

In addition, the city has hosted NCAA tournament games at both levels, including two D-II regionals and the first two rounds of the D-II Elite Eight as well as second- and third-round games in the 2012 NCAA Division I tournament.

“I have been honored to coach at Bellarmine the last eight years,” said Davenport. “I coach at a tremendous institution, a school where Russ and Doug [his sons] both graduated. I have been blessed to coach super young men who have performed at a championship level on and off the floor.

“I want to thank the Bellarmine University community and the entire Louisville metro area — both sides of the [Ohio] river — by putting a team on the floor that represents the greatest college basketball fans in the world in a first class manner. I also want to thank Dr. McGowan, Dr. [Fred] Rhodes [Bellarmine vice president for affairs] and Scott Wiegandt for this wonderful opportunity. It truly takes everybody to win championships and their leadership makes it happen.”

Prior to coming to Bellarmine, Davenport served nine years as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville under Hall of Fame coaches Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. Other collegiate coaching experience includes serving a year as an assistant coach on Mike Pollio’s staff at Virginia Commonwealth, where he coached alongside former University of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith.

Before heading to U of L, Davenport spent 10 seasons as the head boys’ coach at Ballard High School in Louisville where he won a Kentucky state championship in 1988 and coached two future NBA players in DeJuan Wheat and Allan Houston.

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