Baseball: Rodney Davis to lead Falcons in 2020

Rodney Davis to lead the Falcon baseball team in 2020
Rodney Davis to lead the Falcon baseball team in 2020
It may be the 40-year anniversary since Rodney Davis was a member of the Cerritos College baseball team, but his return to Kincaid Field feels like a reunion that's been a long time coming. Davis has been announced as the Falcons baseball coach for the 2020 season, which gets underway January 24.
 
"Cerritos College is where it all started for me," said Davis, who is the father of reigning American League home run champion Khris Davis of the Oakland A's. "To be able to serve this program, after it's given me the foundation to experience the things I have in the game, is an honor and privilege. I'm humbled and thankful... and ready to start the season."
Since his playing days at Cerritos, Davis has served in a variety of capacities at all levels of baseball. Most recently, he spent the 2019 season as the head coach at Westminster High, but has also spent time as a volunteer assistant softball coach at UCLA (2017-18). Davis also served as a scout and area supervisor for Major League Baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodger as both a professional and amateur scout.

From 1995-98, he was a minor league coach in the Mariners organization and spent the 2006 season as a minor league coach for the Dodgers, while serving as their Player Development Assistant from 2013-14.

Through all of his experiences, Davis stated that playing for legendary coach Wally Kincaid in 1980 was the cornerstone to his life in baseball, which also included stints as an assistant coach at the community college and university levels. 

"At the time I came out of Paramount High, there was no greater place to learn fundamentals of the game and the excellence of a championship culture than at Cerritos," added Davis. "My values in this game - to this day - are rooted in the way we practiced and played the game. It was 'throw strikes, play good defense and create pressure by being proficient in all aspects of the game offensively. Coach Kincaid also taught us to be a good sportsman and a competitive warrior. Be aggressive with intelligence. I learned that philosophy here at Cerritos and will always remain with me as the cornerstone of elite team play."

Davis will be taking over a team that went 8-29 last season and loses as many as nine players to graduation. He doesn't have any misconceptions about last season and understands that his coaching staff and recruiting will be the key to a productive season on the field.

"Our goals this season are to being our very best in the classroom, ball field and community everyday," stated Davis. "We will train and prepare to play at the highest level possible. We must outwork and out-prepare our opponents and be selfless when it comes to the team."

In his one season with the Falcons, Davis played on a team that included several players who would go on to play professionally, while one of his teammates is current Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook. That team also consisted of Tom Nieto, played on a World Series team with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 and coached in the minor leagues for 18 years. Coach Kincaid's son, Mike, was also a teammate and two have remained close ever since.

After his season at Cerritos, Davis transferred to Los Angeles Harbor College and then spent three seasons in the Dodgers minor league system. His first coaching assignment came one year after his playing career ended and served as the head coach at Paramount High for two seasons. From 2015-16, Davis was the Senior Manager for the MLB Urban Youth Academy that has helped produce numerous major league players. The U-14 team from Compton is now coached by former Falcon Joe Terry, who is a product of the league and played in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Davis has said he's up to the task of bringing the baseball program to how he remembers it and feels it starts with a deep and diverse coaching staff.
 
"I've received a lot of inquiries and interest in helping renew the program," added Davis. "It's a great responsibility selecting the right assistant to help build young people into the best version of themselves. I can say that the size of the staff will increase (over previous seasons) with more specific roles and responsibilities to account for this. And from time to time, we will have alumni connected with the game at various levels stepping in to offer their expertise, personal knowledge and experience, and maybe a history lesson or two about this great program. And the pride of being a Cerritos Falcon."