UPDATED: This story has been updated to include quotes from TCU Activities Director Greg Feddema and assistant coach Matt Miller.
When the Tri-City United Titans baseball season begins this spring, coach Bruce Davis will have a new title: Hall of Famer.
Seven new coaches were inducted into the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Oct. 24 in Minneapolis, among them Davis, the only baseball coach in TCU High School history.
Davis was first told of the honor this past spring, and was surprised to be inducted.
“A lot of guys who have been inducted are friends of mine, and there are some legendary coaches,” Davis said. “I was awestruck to be considered in the same group of coaches. It’s an honor and exciting.”
This is Davis’s 30th season in charge of a high school baseball team, having first started at Claremont High School in 1986. After one season Davis became coach at Montgomery-Lonsdale High School, a position he held until the district’s consolidation with Le Center in 2013 that formed TCU.
If you had told Davis when he first started coaching that he’d do it for 30 years, he might not have believed you.
“You start out, and even now, I like sports and like working with kids. It’s a good way to stay in the game,” Davis said. “Even after 30 years I’m not quitting any time soon. I’ve got a few more years and a few more goals to achieve.”
Davis has been named Minnesota River Conference Coach of the Year six times and was the Class A Minnesota State Coach of the Year in 1999, the same year his Redbirds won the state tournament. Montgomery-Lonsdale also made it to state in 2000, finishing as runner-up in Class AA.
Current TCU assistant coach Matt Miller played for Davis’ state title winning team, and has been his assistant coach for the past 10 seasons.
“He has the skills of managing kids, being up front with them and having a role for every player on the team,” Miller said. “He’s very deserving of this honor. He’s a great coach and a better person.”
Davis has also previously been named district, sub-section and section coach of the year.
Though he’s one of the newest members of the Hall of Fame, Davis is anything but unfamiliar with the organization, having served as the president of the Baseball Coaches Association from 2006-08. He has also been a section representative and worked with the state baseball rankings committee. And, he’s coached summer baseball including Legion, Babe Ruth and Metro Baseball.
“Bruce is baseball through and through,” Activities Director Greg Feddema said. “He’s well deserving to be in the Hall of Fame and is about as humble as they come. He shakes off any accolades, but he deserves it for the program (he’s run) at Montgomery-Lonsdale and TCU.”
The MSHSBCA advisory board looks at nominees, as bases their selections on the coaches record, longevity and commitment to the game.
“All of these things he has excelled at,” MSHSBCA President Al Amdahl said. “Coach Davis’ record speaks for itself. He has helped further baseball a great deal, and showed real nice leadership in his tenure (as former president of MSHSBCA).”
Davis and his wife, Char, along with their children, Kelsey and Brad, live in Montgomery. He graduated from Medford High School in 1982 and from Mankato State University in 1986. His family, along with assistant coach Adam Hanson, attended the induction ceremony, and Davis credits them all with his success.
“I’m very lucky to have a wife and kids who are into baseball. Without them I couldn’t do this for 30 years,” Davis said. “You don’t get into the hall of fame by yourself without good assistant coaches, (support from) family and dedicated players for many years.”
He has also coached boys’ basketball and football at various levels for 25 years, including seven as co-head football coach of Montgomery-Lonsdale where in 1996 Davis was named Minnesota River Conference Football Coach of the Year.
There have been 99 members inducted into the MSHSBCA Hall of Fame since it was founded in 2004.