Derrick Davis is back home.
After three seasons working at other area high school football programs, Davis has returned to Polk County for a second stint as head coach at his alma mater. He was named the Wildcats' new leader late Friday afternoon.
"I've been given a second chance, and I intend to make the most of it," said Davis, a 1990 graduate. "I've got a lot of friends and family back here. It's home. It's where I want to be.
"When I walked away three years ago, I never thought this would happen, but you see things differently when you step away and look back on what you had. I would like to thank (director of schools) Dr. James Jones for giving me a second chance."
In his previous stint as Polk County's head coach (2000-2018), Davis turned a struggling program into one of the area's most consistent winners. By his second season, Davis had guided the Wildcats to nine victories — their first winning record in eight years. It was the first of 13 straight winning seasons, a stretch that included the program's first undefeated regular season (2009) and five region championships.
Davis takes over for Rusty Brewer, who stepped down earlier this month after three seasons to move into an administrative position.
"It's great to have Coach Davis back where he belongs," Polk County athletic director Ron German said. "I think he realizes there's no place like home, and we're tickled to have him back in charge.
"Rusty did a great job for the three years, and we know things will continue to grow under Derrick. He's a tactician above all else and loves the school and the community."
Davis also coordinated the Wildcats' defense throughout his time as coach, helping the 2009 team to six consecutive shutouts. The program reached the playoffs in 14 of his 19 seasons, and he compiled a 123-88 overall record.
"We're going into the two-week dead period now, but in a couple of weeks we'll hit the ground running," Davis said. "I'm excited. Hopefully we can improve enough to be competitive this year."
After stepping down at Polk in January 2019, Davis was later named head coach at McMinn Central, where he worked for two years before joining the Rhea County staff as a defensive assistant last season.
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