Jordan High School AD, 7 head coaches stepping down

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 06:32 PM

Jordan High School Athletic Director David Davis announced a massive coaching staff turnover — that included himself — on Tuesday. Gone will be seven head coaches, one of whom coaches two sports.

Davis said there were no particular special circumstances behind the departures, most of which had been brought to his attention throughout the year. “Just the way the stars aligned, I guess ... the time was right,” Davis said. “I thought I’d better announce them all before I stepped down.”

Davis said he would be available until the end of June as a sounding board for potential new coaching hires by Jordan Principal Jerome Leathers, but that the hirings would all be by Leathers.

Among the departing coaches is boys’ and girls’ tennis coach Erik Cain who said his decision was prompted by a desire to spend more time with his family — his wife is expecting their third child in September.

Cain, wrestling coach Phil Davanzo and baseball coach Devy Bell are stepping down from the Jordan coaching ranks, but will remain at the school in teaching positions.

Like Cain, Bell also expressed a desire to spend more time with his family.

Boys’ lacrosse coach Jamie Sliwa is moving to Northern High School where he’ll continue to teach and coach. Girls’ soccer coach Sarah Kaneko is moving out of state to take another teaching/coaching position and boys’ track coach Chris Starkey is pursuing an administrative position.

Davis, Jordan’s AD for the past 15 years and a member of the Jordan faculty for 27 years, is “retiring” from the Durham Public Schools for the second time — he retired from teaching eight years ago — after a career that began at Pearsontown Elementary School in 1975 and included a stint at Lowes Grove Junior High School from 1976 to 1988 when he moved to Jordan where he has served as baseball coach and assistant football and basketball coach before becoming athletic director.

Kaneko is two-time consecutive PAC-6 4-A Coach of the Year and has coached the Falcons girls’ soccer team to back-to-back PAC-6 titles.

Starkey’s boys’ teams have captured four PAC-6 track and field titles in his five seasons at the help and he’s been named PAC-6 Coach of the Year four times in that span.

Cain coached both tennis teams for the past four seasons and won a PAC-6 title and a PAC-6 Coach of the Year award.

Davanzo leaves after nine years, two PAC-6 titles and three Coach of the Year honors.

Bell, a former UNC Chapel Hill baseball star, has been the baseball coach for 13 seasons and won three PAC-6 titles and three Coach of the Year honors. He has been at Jordan as a teacher and coach for 27 years and has also served as a football aide and assistant athletic director.

Sliwa has coached boys' lacrosse at Jordan for 12 years and won four Conference V championships — the PAC-6 doesn’t compete as a lacrosse conference — along with being named Conference V Coach of the Year four times.

Conference V includes PAC-6 members Jordan, East Chapel Hill, Riverside and Jordan along with Carrboro and Roxboro Community School.