Monday, November 21, 2016

Coach Mike Davis Is Playing It Forward at TSU

What is the man who replaced Bobby Knight doing in Houston? Winning.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Mike Davis walks into Texas Southern University's Health and Physical Education Arena looking like a freshman on his way to an anthropology lecture. There’s a gray backpack slung over his right shoulder, headphones jammed into both ears. He’s wearing exceptionally baggy track pants and a billowy Nike T-shirt.

Aside from the gray stubble and middle-age spare tire, the 56-year-old looks exactly as he did 15 years ago, when he led the Indiana Hoosiers to the National Championship game just 18 months after replacing Bobby Knight, maybe the most iconic men’s basketball coach in NCAA history. His face is long and regal, his brow pronounced, his cheeks modestly freckled. He seems like a man who has learned a thing or two about this world.

It would be valid to question what in the hell Davis is doing at TSU, waiting for the women’s volleyball team to vacate the practice floor so his Tigers, in their off-brand black-and-gray jerseys, can loosen up. This dinged-up Third Ward gym is a long way from Bloomington’s Assembly Hall.

Davis, though, couldn’t be happier. He loves Houston, loves his bosses. His contract runs through 2020. He wants desperately to return to the Final Four, and to do so from this overlooked HBCU (historically black college or university), celebrating its 90th anniversary next year.


No comments: