Milan head basketball coach Chris Pope announced through his Facebook page yesterday that his coaching staff will have a different look for the 2015-16 season.
Two of Pope’s assistant coaches, who had also been with the Milan program under former head coach Josh Tropea, have left for bigger opportunities.
Jesse Davis, the uncle of former Big Red and current Youngstown State player Latin Davis, has been named the head coach at Lincoln. Davis takes over for Rich Marion, who stepped down at the end of last basketball season. The Railsplitters’ new coach will have the opportunity to coach Ty Groce, who decided to return to Lincoln for his senior season after initially saying he would transfer to Romulus.
Brandon Schmidt has taken a teaching position with the Chelsea school district and will join Tropea as a member of his coaching staff.
Pope and his Big Reds will play the former coaches during the upcoming season. The Railsplitters and Big Reds will face off in December at Lincoln, while Chelsea and Milan will play each other twice – once during the regular season, and during district play in March. The regular season game between the Bulldogs and Big Reds will be played on Milan’s floor.
Former Big Red 1,000-point scorer Elgin Bates, known in his high school days as EJ, will join his alma mater as an assistant coach. Bates played for Milan from 1991-93. “I’m happy to bring aboard a fellow Milan alumni,” Pope said through a text message. “(Bates) is a great teacher of the game. He will bring a different skill set to the program.”
It was in the same series of texts that Pope announced that Latin Davis Sr. would not return, citing that he wanted to see his son play at Youngstown State.
Outside of the Facebook post, in which he considered the news ‘bittersweet’, Pope declined to comment on the departures of Jesse Davis and Schmidt.
The Big Reds begin the 2015-16 campaign on December 8 with a road game against Monroe.