By Whitley Pleas For the past six years, Ryan Davis experienced a coaching partnership like no other: his father, Ken Davis, served as head coach and Ryan as the assistant coach for the Lake Forest College men’s basketball team. Today, Ryan begins the season as the Foresters’ newly appointed head coach. His first game? Friday night (Nov. 5) against Aurora College.
"Working alongside my Dad, who I also call my best friend, has been everything I could have ever dreamt of and more," says new Lake Forest College Men's Basketball Coach Ryan Davis. Ken resigned in October after 14 years with the team. As head coach for seven years, he led the Division III Foresters to an overall record of 84-74. As father and son, Ken and Ryan enjoyed a more trustworthy relationship than other coaching duos. “I think that there were things that we were able to say to one another that maybe you wouldn’t to someone you didn’t know,” Ryan said. “I honestly think that it made us each better because we could be very honest with one another and know that there still is that love that bonds us. "Working alongside my Dad, who I also call my best friend, has been everything I could have ever dreamt of and more.”
Raised in the northern suburbs, Ryan played basketball in high school where he fell in love with the sport. He later attended the University of Chicago and played on its men’s basketball team before coaching at the University of Chicago Lab School. He joined the Foresters and his father for the 2015-2016 season.
Ryan is excited about the transition to his new position. The change took the team by surprise; none of them expected to have a new head coach take on the position shortly before the start of the season. The players, however, are thrilled to have a familiar face at the helm. Ryan inherits a roster with nine returning players, including two-time first-team All-Midwest Conference selection Sean Espinosa.
Together, Ken and Ryan developed a basketball program that focuses on both the sport and life after college. Thus, Ryan expects to see growth from his team’s members with noticeable changes in their maturity, leadership and character.
Above all, Ryan and the basketball team are simply thankful to have a real season after COVID-19’s spread took away that possibility in 2020. This semester, Ryan reflected, practices have been promising so far, and he looks forward to making his mark on the program.
Ryan is appreciative to everyone - the team, the assistant coaches, parents, and LFC’s administration - for being so incredibly supportive.
“I’m definitely thankful so many people believe in me for this new position,” Ryan said.