By Ellie Thomas
This winter opens a new era for Mountain Brook High School basketball with a new head coach, but Tyler Davis is no stranger to the program. For the past 12 years he’s been a coach for it, most recently for the JV team at the high school and before that as assistant coach to Bucky McMillan. His oldest son, Ty, plays on the high school team too, and his younger son Trey is in seventh grade and daughter Avery is in fifth grade. Before the upcoming season, we wanted to learn more about his background and what to expect from him. Here’s what he had to say.
What sparked your interest in basketball, and how did this lead to your career as a coach?
I grew up in Indiana with my dad as a basketball coach, so ever since I remember walking I had a basketball in my hands. I played basketball through elementary school, junior high and high school, and eventually earned a Division I scholarship to Samford. Growing up with my dad as a coach, I always studied basketball and watched how he coached his team and players, which made me a student of the game. When I went to play at Samford, I knew I would probably go into education because both my mom and dad were teachers. My first job after Samford was coaching and teaching at Vestavia, and after nine years, I came to Mountain Brook in 2008.
How has the transition been from assistant coach to head coach this year?
I think coaching with Bucky and learning from him—but also him allowing me to coach my team and be in charge of it—has given me a lot of head coaching responsibilities. Now that I am the head coach of the actual program, I have a big adjustment to make, and I’m still growing into that. It will consistently be something to learn from, but I’m ready to accept the challenge.
What do you expect for you and your team this season?
With where the program has been and with the success that we’ve had over the last decade, I know we’re in good hands, as the guys understand the culture and know-how hard they have to work. We have a lot of guys in our program who love the game of basketball but work tirelessly to get better as individuals and also as a team. With being able to have our practices this summer—although we had restrictions with masks, which is something we have never had to deal with before—we were still able to have a productive summer. I’m very excited with the hard work they have been putting in up to this point, and I look for us to have a successful season.
What is it like to have basketball interest run in the family?
Basketball is very big in my family since my wife played basketball at Samford as well. In terms of coaching my son Ty, he had the opportunity as an eighth grader to play for me on the JV team, so we have already been able to have a father-son coaching experience. I treat him as I treat the other players and have high expectations for him. Some days I am showing him tough love, but ultimately I am just trying to get him to max out on his potential like the other guys I coach. One thing I have learned is to tell Ty that when we get home, we won’t discuss anything that is going on with the team unless it is something he wants to talk about. This way I can be a dad to him as opposed to his coach at all times, and when we’re actually at the gym in our environment of basketball, I become more or less his coach as opposed to his dad.
What makes Mountain Brook basketball so special?
The one thing that separates Mountain Brook from other places is the team chemistry in which the players have a family atmosphere. They always want to look after each other, and I think that the success of a team starts with the bond of chemistry: Do they care for each other? Do they trust each other and do they love each other? I am excited to continue to keep our program going, hopefully in the standpoint that we can keep being hardworking, unselfish and fearless as a program.