Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
FRANKLIN FURNACE — A legendary coaching figure in Southern Ohio is no longer with us.
Longtime Green baseball coach Dan McDavid passed away, unexpectedly, Monday evening. He was 66 years old.
McDavid has been described as not only a baseball coach, but a father figure to his players over the years.
“He was like another father figure to me, and I’m almost positive everyone else he coached.,” Rylee Maynard said, a 2018 graduate of Green High School and former player of McDavid’s. “Dan always pushed us to succeed and be the best people we could be, on and off the field.”
Maynard is far from the only player of McDavid’s that feels that way.
“Coach McDavid was not only the best coach I’ve ever had, but he was also a father figure,” Hayden Whitis said, a 2019 Green graduate. “He supported us through all of our highs and lows not only as players, but as young men. He was a great coach, and an even better man. There’s never going to be another one like him.”
McDavid’s coaching stint on the diamond in Franklin Furnace started in 1986, the same year Green won its only regional title. That season, the Bobcats fell to Sidney Lehman by a 9-7 final in a Class A state semifinal game.
But to really get a feel for the magnitude of players and athletes he reached, you’d have to look at his career in its entirety.
He spent four seasons at South Point High School as its head baseball coach, served as Green’s head football coach — and led the team to two unbeaten seasons in 1989 and 1990 — and has been a football coach at West for quite some time now, where he served as the team’s defensive coordinator … he was expected to return to the Senators’ sidelines this coming season.
This spring would’ve been his 11th consecutive season as Green’s head coach in what is his second stint in the position.
And, off the diamond, he was well-known for being a veteran basketball official in the Southeast District.
“Coach McDavid was not only an incredible coach, but an incredible man as well,” Caden Brammer said, a current senior at Green. “From my freshman year, unable to play due to a knee injury, he took me in as any other player and made me feel like I was a part of the team. Coach always said, ‘Here at Green, we play for championships.'”
He wasn’t kidding.
Whenever baseball resumes, the Bobcats will be defending three straight SOC championships — two outright and one shared. Furthermore, Green has won eight sectional titles in the last 10 seasons.
“The amount of success Dan had at Green is incredible,” Maynard said. “Coaching the only state Final Four team we’ve had in baseball … he left to coach elsewhere for awhile but when he came back, he never had a losing season. He told us at the beginning of every year that he hasn’t had a losing season since he came back and was going to put us in the best position he could for us to win.”
Whenever Green does get back on the diamond, the Bobcats will do so without their leader, without their father figure, and without their mentor.
But that’s not what McDavid would want them to remember.
His lessons about baseball, and about life, are surely what he hoped “stuck.” He wouldn’t want to be mourned. He’d want to be celebrated.
“With three straight SOC championships, he left this world a champion,” Brammer said. “His legacy at Green will forever live on. I was a part of something special at Green, and that’s because of coach McDavid. I will always be thankful for, not only and incredible coach, but also the man that took me and got the best out of me, both on and off the field.”