PITTSBURG — With former coach Scott Rieck stepping down from his post as Head Wrestling Coach at Pittsburg High School, Athletic Director Jeff Staley looked to former MMA fighter LC Davis to lead Pittsburg Wrestling to new heights.

Davis was a four-time state qualifier in wrestling in high school, and continued to wrestle at the next level at Labette Community College before earning his first coaching gig.

“After graduation I coached at Pratt Community College, during their first year having a wrestling program with Chas Thompson.” said Davis

Thompson is now the Head Wrestling Coach at Fort Hays State.

After spending a year as the Head Assistant Coach at Pratt, Davis began his MMA career under the tutelage of coach Pat Miletich and Miletich Fighting Systems.

“Miletich is a hall-of-fame coach and former UFC champion. At Miletich Fighting Systems I had the opportunity to train with some of the best fighters in the country. I feel like if you want to be the best, you have to be around people who have similar goals as you.” added Davis.

Davis debuted in the MMA world in 2006. Over the next eight years Davis would make his name in various independent promotions, including becoming ranked as a top ten featherweight in the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).

“For many years fighting had my complete focus, so I could’ve never foreseen myself where I am now, as head coach here in Pittsburg. After I retired from fighting, I opened my own MMA gym, with my goal being to have a retirement plan while being able to coach fighters and still be involved in Mixed Martial Arts.”

While training fighters at his gym, Davis was inspired to returning to coaching after starting a youth wrestling club

“What I like about coaching is it gives me the opportunity to change lifes. I wouldn't be the person I am today without wrestling, and I want to give that feeling to others.” said Davis

Davis points to the continued involvement of coach Rieck as one of the main reasons he felt comfortable taking his first head coaching job in Pittsburg.

“Coach Rieck was a huge factor in me taking the job here. He is a great coach, and although he’s stepping down, he’s still involved. He’s assisting with the middle school, while maintaining his role as president of our kids club. To have a good high school program, it starts at the middle school level, so to have such a great system in place is a huge plus.” said Davis

Looking ahead to the culture he plans on building, Davis would like to see the Purple Dragons be known as blue-collar, hard-working athletes.

“I want our guys to be fighters. Obviously I don’t want my guys punching their opponents, so when I say fighter I mean that I want them to fight for every point. I want my guys to give full effort. Effort doesn’t take any extra talent or skills, and hard-work is a conscious decision that I want my guys to make every time they step on the mat.” said Davis.

Davis said his ultimate goal is to bring a state team title to Pittsburg.

“Class 5A is a tough class, and it may not happen this year, but I believe in the kids here and would love to assist them in bringing a trophy back to Pittsburg.”