John Davis enters his eighth season as the head women's basketball coach at Southern Wesleyan University in 2017-2018. The Warriors are coming off of consecutive berths to the NCCAA National Tournament in 2014 and 2015, along with back-to-back NCCAA South Region Championships. Davis has helped lead the Warriors transition from a NAIA program to NCAA Division II, as SWU is in their first full-year as a NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas member.
"We are extremely excited to be full-time members of the NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas," stated Coach Davis. "As we continue to move forward as an institution, all of us involved will continue to work hard to make Southern Wesleyan into the premiere University of Division II athletics. We will also continue to grow and develop our students by being a university and women's basketball program that will be Christ-centered and student-focused."
On an individual basis Noelle Van Zadelhoff was named to the NCCAA All-South Region team and nine players were named to the Conference Carolinas Presidental Honor Roll in 2016. Briana Seda and Christiana Perkins were named to the NCCAA All-South Region in 2015, while Chelsie Waters and Shelby Gilbert were both named to the Conference Carolinas All-Academic Team. In 2014, Kiara Coleman and Perkins were both named to the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) All-Eastern Division Team, while Cayse Branyon was placed on the SSAC All-Freshman Team for her efforts in her rookie campaign. Also, Coleman, Perkins, and Waters were all named to the NCCAA All-South Region Team, with Perkins and Waters earning NCCAA All-American Honorable Mention honors. Gilbert, Waters, and Michelle Anaya were all named to the SSAC All-Academic Team in 2014, with Anaya being named a NCCAA Scholar-Athlete. The 2016 team was able to earn a team GPA over 3.0 for the third consecutive year.
SWU has had three SSAC All-Conference players in Natasha Eddings (2011), Janaye Gillard (2011 and 2012), and Lauren Johnson (2013) during Coach Davis's time, with Ashley Cooper being named to the SSAC All-Division Team in 2012 and 2013. Johnson and Cooper were both recognized to the 2013 NCCAA South Region Team, with Johnson also earning NCCAA All-American honors. Johnson's 510 points scored during the 2013 season is the most dating back to the 2003 season, while Cooper scored her 1,000th career point. Gilbert was also named to the SSAC All-Freshman Team. Ciara Walker and Allison Droddy were both named NAIA Scholar-Athletes during that season.
Both Gillard and Cooper were named to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region Team in 2012, while Gillard also earned NCCAA 2nd Team All-American status and scored her 1,000th career point. Gillard, Eddings and Kayla Plantin all earned a spot on the NCCAA All-South Region Team in 2011, with Plantin joining Gillard on the NCCAA All-American team as Honorable Mention selections, helping lead the team to a 20-10 overall record.
Davis came to SWU via Wesley College where he spent six years as an assistant with the men’s program, and his last two with the women’s basketball team. Davis began his coaching career in 2001 at the high school ranks as the head varsity boy’s coach at The King’s Academy in Jonesboro, IN. He finished his undergraduate degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002, and graduated with his M.B.A. from Wesley College in 2005. He is also an adjunct professor at SWU.
Davis is married to the former Brooke Burton and they have one daughter, Blake, who was born in December of 2014.