CYCLING – Wheeling-born John Davis comes full circle.
After growing up in Wheeling and graduating from Wheeling Park, Davis worked for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Browns, and the New York Islanders.
Now after 28 years, Davis is returning home as Chief Operating Officer for the Wheeling Nailers.
“I was born and raised in Wheeling and worked for the team (Thunderbirds) for the first two years when they joined Wheeling. It’s almost like being in a Disney movie where the mascot becomes the COO. “ Davis said with a laugh. “It seems very special, at least for me and my family. We are excited about it. “
A lot has changed since Davis was last at Wheeling, including the team name, but he’s excited about the culture that has been built and looks forward to the future.
“It has been fantastic to see all the changes that have happened since I died, literally since I left 28 years ago.” Said Davis.
Davis began his journey away from Wheeling when he went to Xavier University and worked for the Cincinnati Cyclones.
“When I went to college, I worked for (the Cyclones)” Said Davis. “I chose where I went to college based on where else I can work for an ice hockey team.”
From there he became head of ticketing development for the Blue Jackets before moving to the Islanders (vice president, ticketing), Reds (vice president, ticketing) and Browns (vice president, ticketing and service).
His background could also help Wheeling boost ticket sales.
“How the fan base has gone from season ticket holders to these people who have come over for the last five, six or seven years and given this team their own new identity – it was amazing.” Said Davis. “The good thing about the way the Wheeling Nailers have worked is that there tends to be a pretty collaborative goal that is strategized together and we’ll just keep working towards the same goals.
“I’ve been around the country with the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Reds and Browns and they’ve all been very different experiences. That makes it great.”
Davis met his wife Jennifer while he was with the Cyclones, and she was with him every step of the way on that journey. Her two daughters Campbell and Rosey also enjoy the ride.
“It’s like a good 80s movie” Said Davis. “We live in my parents’ house in the same room that I had as a child.
“Jennifer took all of these steps with me. When I was in New York with the Islanders, I was hired to work for a Double-A team in Dallas. My wife gave birth to our second child and we already had a toddler. A week later we were driving our two babies and two dogs from New York City to Dallas.
“My daughters are cheered to come here too. They are happy to live close to their grandparents. “
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