Aug. 26, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – This is the second of five “Bump, Set, Spike” installments on UND.com to help Notre Dame fans get to know each of the newcomers to the Irish program this season. Assistant coach Robin Davis rejoined the Irish coaching staff this past summer after a three-year stint as the head coach at Boise State. Davis was an assistant at Notre Dame from 2001-05 while helping lead the Fighting Irish to five consecutive BIG EAST Conference regular-season championships and appearances at the NCAA Tournament, reaching the round of 16 in 2005. Notre Dame also finished that year with its highest-ever final national ranking – No. 12 in the CSTV/AVCA poll and No. 11 in the Volleyball Magazine poll.
What have you been up to since leaving Notre Dame in 2006?
I was at Boise State as the head coach, and it was a nice challenge there with the athletes and the program. I felt like we got better the first year. We brought some really good kids in and I feel the program there is really good now. The opportunity arose to come back here, and for a lot of reasons, this was a great choice for me.
How is living in South Bend different from Boise?
When I think about living in South Bend, I think of being at Notre Dame and being part of the campus. I love South Bend. I love Boise as a city but there is just too much Irish in my blood.
What were some of the things that drew you back to Notre Dame?
I love a big challenge and I think there is a big challenge here. I think we have good players, and players that can overachieve and we want to overachieve.
What is your favorite part about working with head coach Debbie Brown?
In my three years while away from here we stayed very good friends and talked every few weeks during the season. I knew Debbie was more than another coach – she was my mentor. When I left, I knew had left a person and program I loved working for. We just seem to work well together and we’re comfortable with each other’s styles.
What is your favorite part of the recruiting process?
I love the challenge of the recruiting process. Recruiting here is different. We are looking for student-athletes that are great teammates, that have great character and that have a positive affect on the people around them.
What are your goals and expectations for the team this season?
We are big. We have a tough schedule, and the best part about our goals this year is that the kids are leading our goals. Our captains know and understand that we can win at a high level. For what the team did at the BIG EAST Championship last year and then turning in a great spring and a solid performance in Italy, our expectations are high.
It’s not uncommon to see you skateboarding around campus. When did you start skateboarding?
I am originally from Southern California. The first long board I got was 18 years ago and I have collected them since them. I have nine now and it is just a way of transportation. It’s kind of infectious when the other coaches come in for camp … I bring a few in and they just grab them and go.
What celebrity do you most often get mistaken for?
(Volleyball Olympic gold medalist) Pat Powers. I guess we look a little similar. Some people call his name when they’re trying to get my attention.
Any other recent brushes with celebrities?
Just last week I hung out with (former Los Angeles Lakers player and new Minnesota Timberwolves head coach) Kurt Rambis, and (former and current NBA players) Brent and Jon Barry at the beach and played some sand volleyball during vacation. The best part of being around them was that they were simply very nice guys and it was fun spending the day with them.
Who is the greatest player you’ve ever coached?
(Former Notre Dame All-American) Lauren Brewster. She had another gear. The better the team we were playing, the more she stepped her game up. She would always play above and beyond what was expected from her. She loved the competition and never got nervous when the pressure was on.
What food can you never eat enough of?
Right now it is Chipotle. We didn’t have one in Boise. I eat there at least twice a week.
What was your first car?
It was a 1961 Falcon. It was sky blue and had some trouble getting up some hills in southern California. Often times we’d have to give it a push start.