Davis hired as Nailers COO
WHEELING — Things have come full circle for Wheeling native John Davis.
After growing up in Wheeling and graduating from Wheeling Park, Davis went on to work for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns and New York Islanders.
Now, after 28 years, Davis makes his return home as the Chief Operating Officer for the Wheeling Nailers.
“I was born and raised in Wheeling and I worked for the team (Thunderbirds) for the first two years when they moved to Wheeling. It’s almost like a Disney Movie where the mascot becomes the COO,” Davis said with a laugh. “It seems like a pretty special thing that is happening, at least for myself and my family. We’re thrilled about it.”
A lot has changed since Davis was last with Wheeling, including the team’s name, but he is excited about the culture that has been built and is looking forward to the future.
“It’s been fantastic to see all of the changes that have happened since I’ve been gone, which has literally been since I left 28 years ago,” Davis said.
Davis began his journey away from Wheeling when he left for Xavier University and started working for the Cincinnati Cyclones.
“When I went away to college I worked for (the Cyclones),” Davis said. “I chose where I went to college based on where I could still work for a hockey team.”
From there he became the Ticket Sales Development Manager for the Blue Jackets before joining the Islanders (Vice President, Ticket Sales), Reds (Vice President of Ticket Sales) and Browns (Vice President, Ticket Sales & Service).
His background could help give Wheeling a boost in ticket sales, as well.
“How the fanbase has continued from season ticket holders to these folks who have come along in the last five, six or seven years and given this team its own new identity — it’s been amazing.” Davis said. “The good thing about the way the Wheeling Nailers have worked is there tends to be a pretty collaborative goal that is strategized together and we’re just going to continue that working toward the same goals.
“I’ve kind of been all over the country with the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Reds and Browns and they have all been very different experiences, so that’s what makes it great.”
Davis met his wife, Jennifer, in his time with the Cyclones and she has been on this journey with him every step of the way. Their two daughters, Campbell and Rosey, are also enjoying the ride.
“It’s like a good 80’s movie,” Davis said. “We’re living in my parents’ house in the same room that I had when I was a kid. Jennifer has made all these moves with me. When I was in New York with the Islanders, I got recruited 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 drove from New York City to Dallas with our two babies and two dogs.
“My daughters are fired up to get here, too. They are glad to live near their grandparents.”