Special to The Journal
The Sarnia Legionnaires have hired a head coach with a history of pulling off upsets in the playoffs.
Mark Davis, who has won five championships with teams that entered the post season as underdogs, takes over for Dan Rose, who resigned last month.
Theo Bet, a Legionnaire vice president, was general manager of the Petrolia Jets when Davis led that team to its only Western Jr. ‘B’ title in 2003.
“That year we didn’t have the best team in the league but Mark had us playing like the best team,” Bet recalled. “Everybody can attest to the fact that Mark’s a great motivator.”
In fact, the Jets finished fourth in the nine-team Western conference before pulling off three upsets to take the Weir Cup.
Davis, a Corunna resident, also won a championship in 2006 with the second-seeded Chatham Maroons. During the finals that year, his club defeated the first place St. Marys Lincolns in Game Seven, which was played right in the Stone Town.
Davis, who was raised in Port Lambton, also won Jr. ‘C’ championships with the 1988 Mooretown Flags (who finished third that year) and the 1999 Wallaceburg Lakers, who were second. On top of that, he won an Ontario crown and a Silver Stick title with a Wallaceburg midget team in 2007.
Davis, 54, has also won two championships while serving as an assistant coach with the old Sarnia Bees in 1989 and 1993.
He is vowing to ice a competitive team, despite the fact that the Legionnaires face a rebuilding task, with no less than 10 veterans graduating.