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Fort Lewis hires Lauren Davis as women’s basketball head coach

Davis comes to Durango after three years at Northwest College
Lauren Davis talks to one of her players in a game at Northwest College. Davis was announced as the new Fort Lewis women's basketball coach on Tuesday. (Courtesy Lauren Davis)

Fort Lewis has quickly found a replacement after Taylor Harris’ departure from the women’s basketball program.

On Tuesday, Lauren Davis was announced as the new head coach of Fort Lewis women’s basketball.

Davis comes to Fort Lewis after spending three seasons as the head coach at Northwest College which is a junior college in Powell, Wyoming.

“I'm so excited and so grateful for the opportunity,” Davis said. “I'm really just ready to hit the ground running and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the team.”

Davis was drawn to the Fort Lewis job because of the challenge of being a part of Division II women’s college basketball. She’s looking forward to challenging herself professionally against the great Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams and coaches.

The Littleton, Colorado native compiled a 50-38 overall record in her three years highlighted by a 21-9 record in 2022-2023. In Davis’ first season, Northwest College went 14-14 which was more wins than the college had in the previous three years combined. Last season, Northwest College went 15-15 with 10 freshmen and numerous injuries, according to Davis.

“Every step of the process, Lauren just demonstrated that student-athletes are at the center of her program and the real commitment to graduating champions,” Fort Lewis Director of Athletics Travis Whipple said. “I’m impressed by her success as a head coach and the programs that she's built in all facets: Academically, in the community and on-court success. Combining all those things really felt like it aligned with our mission and our values here.”

Whipple also said he liked Davis’ experience as a student-athlete and coach at the Division II level.

Davis began her playing career at Gillette College which is a junior college in Wyoming. She played at Trinidad State Junior College and then at Division II Wayne State as a captain.

After her playing career, Davis worked at University of Saint Mary, an NAIA school in Nebraska, as a graduate assistant. She was then the assistant coach at Division II Angelo State University in Texas before she got the head coaching job at Northwest College.

“In this industry, it's all about relationships, connections and the players,” Davis said. “For me, that's always the most important thing. That's what leads every team to success and that's why I keep doing it.”

Davis said her teams are known for their discipline and passion. She also said her teams are very aggressive on the defensive end which helps them with offensive production.

Lauren Davis talks to her players in a huddle. Davis was announced as head coach for Fort Lewis women's basketball on Tuesday. (Courtesy Lauren Davis)

On offense, Davis’ teams showcase a modern style of basketball with a lot of 3-pointers, some five-out and four-out offensive sets and motion sets too.

Whipple said it was important to make a hire in a timely fashion as college basketball is fluid this time of year with the transfer portal. He wanted to give Davis the best possible chance to succeed in her first year in the RMAC with Fort Lewis.

Davis met with the current Fort Lewis players on Tuesday morning. Ember Cervantes and Kelsey Sorenson were the only two seniors on this past season’s team.

“I told them we'll take a look at the roster,” Davis said. “I want to get to know each and every one of them and we can build something around them. Bringing in a healthy mix of kind of my own players and the players that were here is a great way to go about it. I know the players here have a really strong bond with each other, which is important.”

Davis isn’t sure what she will do to fill her coaching staff at Fort Lewis but she hopes to use her connections in Colorado and the Four Corners area to recruit great players to Fort Lewis.