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Central fires women’s basketball coach Mike Davis

Justin Addison, Editor/Publisher
Posted 5/7/24

Central Methodist University fired head women’s basketball coach Mike Davis on Tuesday, April 30. Neither side cited a reason, but Coach Davis had apparently been suspended from the team early …

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Central fires women’s basketball coach Mike Davis


Central Methodist University fired head women’s basketball coach Mike Davis on Tuesday, April 30. Neither side cited a reason, but Coach Davis had apparently been suspended from the team early in the 2023-24 season.

The university confirmed on Monday that it has “separated” ties with Davis to take the program in a different direction. The acknowledgment came after months of speculation since Davis was notably absent from the sideline for most of the season.

The university had remained tightlipped about Davis’s absence during the season and his ultimate termination last week. It wasn’t until an advertisement for a new head coach was posted on the NAIA’s website last week that it became known Davis was no longer with the program. 

Davis is also no longer listed as the team’s coach at cmueagles.com.

Davis left the Lady Eagles’ sideline around Thanksgiving and was absent the rest of the season without so much as a statement from the university. When pressed by this newspaper, CMU spokeswoman Dr. Melissa Mace simply stated that the university “cannot comment on personnel matters.” However, she confirmed Davis was still employed by the college and said that he continued recruiting duties away from the CMU bench.

Attempts by this newspaper to contact Davis at that time were not returned.

In a statement from Central Methodist on Monday, Dr. Mace confirmed to this newspaper that Davis is “no longer leading the program” and that the university “is taking the women’s basketball program in a new direction.”

She said that Central will launch a national search for the team’s next head coach.

Later on Monday, Davis submitted a statement to the Advertiser saying that he had been fired and that the matter would likely be resolved in court.

Davis’s entire statement reads as follows: 

“I am so proud of all we accomplished over the last nine seasons at Central Methodist University. Conference championships, conference tournament championships, national tournament berths, two Fab Four finishes at our national tournament, and many really good young ladies who are doing great things in their lives. My entire family has been a big part of Lady Eagles basketball. From holiday meals, trips to our lake house, riding horses at our farm, to brownies after wins, they have been part of our family. I was fired by CMU last Tuesday. Going in a different direction was the reason that I was given. I was the exact same coach this year that I was a year ago when we were 35-1 and No. 1 in the nation, that I was two years ago, that I was five years ago, and the same coach that I was 10 years ago. I am proud of the job I’ve done at Central Methodist. I really cannot go into details because this is regretfully probably headed toward a legal situation.”

Davis said that until last week, he had planned to return as head coach next season.

Camden Levett, who took over coaching duties last season, is still listed on CMU’s website as the team’s assistant coach.

The 2023-24 season was Davis’s 34th as head coach and 22nd at Central. He coached here from 1987-2000 and returned in 2015. He led the women’s basketball team at Columbia College between those two stretches at CMU.

In Davis’s last full season leading CMU, the Lady Eagles posted a near-perfect 35-1 record, their only loss coming in the national tournament semifinals. Central got off to a rocky start with a 2-3 record in its first five games of this season before finishing with a disappointing overall record of 13-16 and 10-14 in the Heart of America, mostly without Davis at the helm.


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