Alfred Davis knows the key to success when it comes to coaching.
“You have to have patience,” Davis said from the Ferriday Football Camp Friday.
Patience has paid off for Davis at traditional junior college power Hutchinson Community College, who was promoted to defensive co-cordinator before last season, and has now been promoted to associate head coach.
“Most young dudes are too ambitious,” Davis said. “They won’t be patient. That’s paid off for me. You just have to wait your time and keep putting in the work. I just turned 29 and I’m a young African-American who is an associate head coach at a top 10 junior college. I’ve been empowered with recruiting and I’ve signed 40-plus kids in two years. It’s the small stuff that always adds up. I’m also handling our weight program.”
Hutchinson, the alma mater of New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, went 7-5 to years ago in Davis’ first year, falling to Eastern Arizona College 48-34 in the Salt City Bowl.
The Blue Dragons had 33 players sign college scholarships.
Seven defensive playes signed with Division I schools.
Davis had defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt sign with Georgia.
Tayland Humphrey, considered the top JUCO defensive tackle in the country, signed with Florida International over Alabama.
Last year, Hutchinson went 9-3, finishing No. 8 in the nation.
Fresh off a Salt City Bowl victory on Saturday, the Hutchinson football team earned its first Top 10 final NJCAA ranking in four years on Monday.
The 9-3 and Salt City Bowl champion Blue Dragons was ranked No. 8 in the final NJCAA Rankings released by the national office on Monday. The Dragons snap a three-season drought of finishing out of the final rankings.
The Blue Dragons finish in the Top 10 for the first time since finishing No. 4 after an 11-1 season in 2014.
This is the fourth time in head coach Rion Rhoades’ 12-year tenure to finish in the Top 10, and it’s the third-highest finish behind No. 4 in 2014 and No. 5 in 2010. This is the eighth time in 12 seasons the Blue Dragons finished as a ranked team under Rhoades.
The Blue Dragons started the season receiving votes in the preseason NJCAA Rankings and climbed as high as No. 4 before back-to-back losses to Garden City and Iowa Central to the regular season. But Saturday’s 35-6 win over Navarro in the Salt City Bowl vaulted the Blue Dragons up five spots to No. 8.
Hutchinson’s only three losses this season came against No. 2 Garden City, No. 3 Iowa Western and No. 13 Iowa Central.
Four Jayhawk Conference teams wound up in the final 2018 rankings.
Garden City (10-1) lost 10-9 to East Mississippi in the NJCAA National Championship game last Thursday. Butler (8-4) defeated NEO in the Midwest Bowl on Sunday and finished No. 11. Highland (6-4) closed its season at No. 17.
East Mississippi claimed all 17 first-place votes and won its sixth national championship. Garden City, Iowa Western, Kilgore and Jones rounded out the Top 5. Lackawanna won the Valley of the Sun Bowl and finished sixth with an 11-0 record.
“I had seven kids on my defensive line sign with Division I teams, two signed with smaller schools,” Davis said.
Alfred Davis has to pump the brakes a bit from getting too excited about how fast his brief coaching experience has gained more momentum each year.
Davis, who turned 28 on Monday, was recently promoted to run game defensive co-coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.
“I’ll basically be doing the same thing, but it’s a way to get more money and keep me there,” said Davis, who was in Ferriday this past weekend to help work the Ferriday Football Camp. “I know I don’t have to rush things right now. Right now I’m not so much worried about the money. That will come later. I just want to continue building on what I am doing, keeping my nose clean, and doing what it takes to advance in the coaching ranks.”
Davis was participating in his third Ferriday camp.
“It’s great to see family and friends,” Lewis said. “And I love doing this camp..”
Lewis left Ferriday at the age of 12 when his family moved to Georgia. At Banneker High in College Park, Ga., Davis was rated the No. 99 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.Com.
“Ferriday is still a big part of my life,” he said.
Davis came to Hutchinson after spending three seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas where he coached former Blue Dragon All-American Jeremiah Ledbetter.
During Davis’ first season with the Razorbacks as a graduate assistant in 2009, the Arkansas defense posted one of its best seasons ever. He helped the Razorbacks finish in the top 10 in both scoring and total defense for the first time since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992.
Davis also worked with two NFL Draft selections - Trey Flowers (4th round, New England) and Darius Philon (6th round, San Diego).
Davis played collegiately at Arkansas, appearing in 49 games, including the final 44 of his career, with 16 starts and collected 78 tackles, 5.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, two quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He made eight starts in his senior season and recorded 38 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one pass breakup.
As a junior, Davis played in all 13 games and recorded 14 tackles while helping lead Arkansas to an 11-2 final record and a No. 5 ranking in the final AP poll of the year, the Razorbacks’ first top-five finish since 1977. The 11 wins matched the most in school history and Arkansas finished the season with a win in the Cotton Bowl.
Davis said the fact he was not as great an athlete as most of his teammates at Arkansas, helped him become a better coach.
“I had to work harder,” Davis said. “I had to be smarter. I learned to do everything the right way technique-wise. I perfected myself on the drills.”
After his playing career, Davis interned at Fayetteville High School in 2012 and was a volunteer coach for the Fayetteville HS football team in 2013.
Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management with a minor in communication in 2012.
He was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well as the Athletic Department Honor Roll in the fall of 2009 and the Athletic Director’s List in the fall of 2012.
Davis has had six job offers during the off-season.
“A couple of them were lateral moves, so I decided to stay where I am at,” Davis said.
Davis said he is grateful to be at Hutchinson and even more confident in his new coaching role at the school.
“I am very comfortable with where I am at,” Davis said.