Jamie Davidson had to head back to his native Northeast to realize where he really wanted to be.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native had moved down to Forsyth County from Pennsylvania six years ago, and he found a welcoming community, mild weather suited to his family's athletic interests and an active lacrosse scene, which he helped nurture as a youth coach and an assistant in Lambert's powerhouse program.
Davidson moved his family up to the Boston area about a year ago for his job in international education consulting, and they were soon wistful for everything they missed about the Atlanta area and started making plans to return there.
"You don't really notice until you're someplace else," Davidson said.
Forsyth County has already welcomed him back. Davidson was hired last Friday as the head boys lacrosse coach at Pinecrest Academy, replacing Pat Aiello, who took a position on Buford's staff.
The vacancy at Pinecrest opened in early May, but the coaching search was waylaid a bit by the departure of Paladins head football coach Todd Winter and the subsequent task of hiring Terance Mathis and the rest of his staff.
Pinecrest athletic director Chris Kane didn't see a suitable replacement in the first round of candidates he saw, but he heard from parents that Davidson was looking to come back to the area and got in contact with him.
Davidson saw a program with the makings of a feeder program like Lambert's and a group of parents and incoming athletes that he already knew. He met with Kane while in the area for business, took the job around a week later and plans to move to the area during the summer, as his house in Massachusetts sold more quickly than expected.
Davidson has ample experience at some of the highest levels of the game, having played at powerhouse Fayetteville-Manlius High School in the Syracuse area and then in college at Army. He has an idea of how he wants Pinecrest to look on the field -- a fast-paced, offense-minded style with a focus on ball movement -- but also knows the importance of culture and community development, which has helped Lambert become one of the state's top programs. Davidson's sons played in Lambert's feeder program when they were last in the area.
"He wants to develop something," Kane said of Davidson. "He wants to build it. He could probably easily go back to Lambert and help and be an assistant again there, but he'd like to develop something that he can really, truly make his mark on."
Pinecrest finished the 2017 season with an 11-10 record, the first winning mark in the program's history.