Gator baseball assistant coach becomes U.S. citizen
Florida baseball's assistant coach Lars Davis is originally from Canada, and received his American citizenship Thursday, April 19th after eight years of waiting.
"My wife and I were married in 2010. We waited until the end of 2013 to apply for the green card that way we weren’t in the probation period," Davis said. "Then, we had to wait an additional three years to apply for citizenship. It’s a lengthy process. A lot of paperwork involved, some interviews, I had to go up to Jacksonville because there’s no field office here. It’s nice now finally having everything taken care of and finally being an American citizen.”
After earning his citizenship he had to catch up with the Gators who were already in Lexington, Kentucky, preparing for a game against the Wildcats. Once he arrived, he was welcomed with an extremely patriotic surprise.
“When I arrived there we had already started taking batting practice. They had stopped off at wherever, I think Walmart or somewhere. They got me a pair of shorts, a nice t-shirt and some apple pie, and made me throw batting practice in that apparel.”
Most traces of his Canadian accent are now gone, but occasionally it sneaks its way into his conversations.
“A lot of people don’t hear an accent anymore. My parents still do when they’re down here. I can actually hear their accent now, but I’ve been down here long enough that I don’t even hear it in myself anymore. It is kinda funny, when I’m talking on the phone my wife does give me a hard time because I start talking kind of Canadian again.”
When asked about something he misses most about Canada, other than family, it's a food item.
"My parents come down to visit once a year. They can’t get enough of the warm weather. Where they’re from it’s weather six or seven months out of the year, so they always bring fun stuff. One of the things I love when they come down, every time they come down my mom will make Nanaimo bars. It’s a dessert bar. It’s kind of hard to explain other than it’s a Nanaimo bar.”
According to dictionary.com, the treat is "a chocolate-coated sweet with a filling made from butter and icing sugar".
Davis is amid his third season with Florida. He arrived after completing the 2014 season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. If you ask Davis what his biggest strength as a coach is, he'll say preparation.
“The perfectionism. Trying to get more data, trying to get more into what we can do against our opponent just based on the number breakdown, based on the video, stuff like that.”