Bill Davis (coach)

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Bill Davis
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1941-12-04)December 4, 1941
Union, South Carolina
Died March 17, 2002(2002-03-17) (aged 60)
Savannah, Georgia
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1979–1985 South Carolina State
1986–1992 Savannah State
1993–1995 Tennessee State
1997–1998 Johnson C. Smith
2000–2001 Savannah State
Head coaching record
Overall 124–99–1

William R. "Bill" Davis (December 4, 1941 – March 17, 2002) was the head football coach at South Carolina State University, Savannah State University, Tennessee State University, and Johnson C. Smith University.[1] Davis won four conference championships and made two appearances in the Div. I-AA playoffs at South Carolina State. Under Davis, Savannah State posted its only appearance in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.[2]

Early life[edit]

Davis was the son of Lee Davis, Sr. truck driver, and Gertrude Stevens-Davis, a domestic housekeeper, and the youngest of three children. He graduated from Sims High School in 1961, where he was an exceptional athlete, lettering in all sports. He earned a four-year scholarship that same year to attend Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina,and was coached under the leadership of Eddie McGirt; it was at Johnson C. Smith that Davis was an all CIAA standout in football.

Upon graduation from college, Davis returned to his hometown to coach at Sims High School for a year. In 1966, Davis was hired by Roosevelt "Sandy" Gilliam, Jr. to coach at then Maryland State College University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where he served until 1969 to return to his alma mater Johnson C. Smith University where he worked with his college coach and mentor Eddie McGirt for four seasons. In 1973, Davis went to work alongside his childhood friend Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State College (University), where he worked with Jefferies for six seasons until Jefferies took the post at Witchita State in 1979. It was Davis that succeeded Jefferies to coach the Bulldogs until 1986.

Coaching career[edit]

South Carolina State[edit]

Davis served as an assistant coach for Willie Jeffries for six seasons (1973–78) before succeeding Jeffries as the Bulldogs head coach in 1979.[2] Davis was the head football coach at South Carolina State University from 1979 until 1985 and compiled a 53-25-1 record as head coach.[1] The team's 10-1-0 record in 1980 resulted in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. In 1981 the team completed the season with a 10-3 record and were named the Black College National Champions and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions. The 1982 team record was 9-3 and resulted in a third consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. The team's 1983 record was 7-3 and the teams final Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship under Davis.[1]

Savannah State[edit]

Davis served as the head football coach at Savannah State College from 1986 to 1992 and Savannah State University from 2000 until his death in 2002 .[1] Under Davis, the Tigers compiled a 52-40 record and posted their only appearance in the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 1992.[1]

Tennessee State[edit]

Davis was the 17th head coach at Tennessee State University located in Nashville, Tennessee, holding that position for three seasons, from 1993 until 1995. His career coaching record at Tennessee State was 11 wins, 22 losses, and 0 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2007 season, this ranks him 11th at Tennessee State in total wins and 18th at Tennessee State in winning percentage (0.333).[3]

Johnson C. Smith[edit]

Davis became head coach at Johnson C. Smith in 1997 serving for two seasons.[1] His record was 8-12.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Rank#
Tennessee State Tigers (Ohio Valley Conference) (1993–1995)
1993 Tennessee State 4–7 4–4 T–4th
1994 Tennessee State 5–6 4–4 T–4th
1995 Tennessee State 2–9 1–7 T–8th
Tennessee State: 11–22 9–15


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