LA Tech Media Room Named in Honor of Buddy Davis

EDITOR’S NOTE: Long-time FWAA member Buddy Davis was the recipient of the FWAA’s Lifetime Achivement Award in 2016.  

RUSTON, La. – For more than five decades, Orville Kince “Buddy” Davis has written more words about Lincoln Parish’s athletic stars and even everyday little leaguers than one can count.

Yet, late Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana Tech officials left the Louisiana Tech Athletics and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame scribe at a loss for words.

Louisiana Tech President Les Guice, Athletics Director Tommy McClelland and a handful of other Tech athletic administrators joined the likes of Leon Barmore, Steve Davison, Jim Oakes, Teddy Allen and a number of Buddy’s Ruston Daily Leader family in the “Jack Lambert Suite” – Room 58 – at Princeton Place.

It was the least the group could do for the birthday boy. Buddy turned 71 on Wednesday.

Just hours after conducting a tour for the local media of the new press box and suites at Joe Aillet Stadium – a tour Buddy wasn’t able to attend due to doctor’s orders – McClelland stood at his bedside, showing the 50-year veteran of the pen the renderings of the $18-plus million facility.

After flipping through pages that covered the new concourse, the camera deck and the luxury suites, McClelland finally got to the level that a man of Buddy’s profession was interested in seeing. Level 3, the press area. The home for the Buddy Davis’s of the media world during LA Tech football games.

As Buddy’s eyes lit up looking at the renderings, they soon filled with tears.

“Buddy, the real reason we are here is to tell you something,” said McClelland. “There are a lot of people at Louisiana Tech and in Lincoln Parish who love you and who have benefited from your writing for so many years. You have done so much for Louisiana Tech University, more than you will ever know.

“In honor of that and of who you are, we are naming the large working press area of the new facility the Buddy Davis Media Room. We feel this is only fitting for a man who has done so much for this area for the past five decades.”

A man who mastered the written word even before the old press box was constructed in 1968 was at a loss for any. As tears rolled down his face, he just starred at the renderings of the graphics depicting his five decades of covering Louisiana Tech and all of Lincoln Parish.

“Buddy, these graphics will tell your story,” McClelland said. “They tell the story of all the incredible Louisiana Tech athletes and coaches you have written about and so many other Lincoln Parish greats. As you have told the story of so many others over the years, this will tell your story.”

The rooms large rear wall measuring 12 feet tall by 40 feet wide contains five panels – each one representing a decade in documenting Buddy’s career – and both large and small photos of Louisiana Tech and Lincoln Parish greats that he has covered.

Buddy began working at the Ruston Daily Leader as a student at Ruston High School and kept doing so while a student at Louisiana Tech before becoming Sports Editor for the Leader. Nearly 50 years’ worth of covering Tech athletes has not only produced countless awards but has also helped Buddy forge many friendships.

A few of those friends represented the masses in the Jack Lambert Suite.

“It’s so humbling,” said Buddy after most of the emotions had finally faded away. “All I’ve done is what I love to do … and to be honored in this way. I’m speechless. I’m a writer, but there are no words. It’s overwhelming. I am so appreciative and cannot thank everyone at Louisiana Tech enough for this gesture.”

Overwhelming yet fitting for a man who garnered numerous awards during his career, including enshrinement in the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

A few of Buddy’s other honors include the Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Football Writers Association of America, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and the Louisiana Tech College of Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year.

“I am not sure we can give this man his due,” said Barmore. “It does me so much good to see someone local, grow up and accomplish what he has done in his hometown. I wouldn’t be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame without Buddy Davis. A lot of use wouldn’t have achieved all that we have achieved without Buddy. What an incredible career. I love the guy and deeply appreciate what he has done for me and Louisiana Tech. He is a treasure that we all should appreciate.”

Buddy is one of just a handful of people still working who sat in the original Joe Aillet Stadium press box when it opened in 1968. Now the Lincoln Parish legend will be forever honored along the back wall of the new one when it officially opens Sept. 2 when the Bulldogs host Northwestern State.

“I really didn’t see this coming … it’s unbelievable,” said Buddy.

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College Football America 2017 Yearbook now available

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RoadTripSports.com is proud to announce the release of the 2017 edition of the College Football America Yearbook, an annual publication that previews every college football conference at every level of college football in the United States and Canada.

The fifth annual print edition is available via Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com at a list price of $39.99, while the digital edition is available via iBooks for $9.99. Many retailers, however, offer the print edition for even less.

“Counting high school games, bowl games and all-star games, our staff attended more than 100 football games again in 2016,” says Kendall Webb, the publisher of the College Football America Yearbook. “Then, like we always do, we spent the spring sorting it all out and preparing the latest edition of the yearbook.

“I honestly believe it’s the best yearbook we’ve ever released, and we’re all excited to get it out there in the market and in the hands of college football fans.”

The College Football America Yearbook is published independently by Webb with Matthew Postins serving as the publication’s editor-in-chief. Chuck Cox, meanwhile, assists as the director of editorial content. All of the publication’s staff members are members of the Football Writers Association of America, and collectively serve on the selection committees for several of college football’s major postseason awards.

This year’s book features Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson on the cover. Jackson piled up a combined total of 5,114 yards and 51 touchdowns last season to lead the Cardinals to a 9-4 record.

Some of the features in the 317-page publication include:

  • Top Ten Games of 2017: Five FBS games and one game each in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and Juco that will be impactful this season.
  • The Heisman Race: A look at the front-runners and dark horses for college football’s most prestigious award in 2017. 
  • The Dream Team: The College Football America Yearbook’s unique take on major college football’s All-America team.
  • Schedules and Results: 2017 Schedules and 2016 results for every single college football team in the United states including all NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, USCAA, NJCAA and CCCAA programs.

Additionally, College Football America 2017 Yearbook previews all of the conferences at every level in the United States along with the four conferences of Canada’s U Sports. The yearbook also provides updates of Mexico’s CONADEIP and ONEFA leagues.

Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2u2K9rz

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2uW27cQ

 

Hatchell to enter CU Athletic Hall of Fame

Longtime FWAA member Steve Hatchell, the President and CEO of the National Football Foundation, will be inducted into the 2017 CU Athletic Hall of Fame in November.

 

The following is the media release from CU.

 

Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the National Football Foundation. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

BOULDER — The 13th class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this November 10 will feature 10 Golden Buffalo legends who are representative of eight sports in the school’s history, all of whom left indeliblemarks in their CU athletic careers.

The ten, two of whom will be honored posthumously, represent those eight different sports over a period that spans from the early 1940s to early last decade, covering seven different decades in all. Included in the group are a pair of football teammates from the ‘70s; two of CU’s standout female performers basketball and volleyball in the early 1990s; the school’s first

star skier; one of CU’s first high‐profile national recruits in men’s basketball; a national cross country individual champion; a longtime coach and state golfing legend; a member of three conference champion football teams who had an outstanding and lengthy career in the pros; and a man who rose from manager of the football team to several full‐time positions in the athletic  department before really making his mark nationally as one of the top administrators in college sports.

The 2017 class will be the 13th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the 10 will join 91 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (12 have been honored previously after their deaths). Athletic director Rick George personally notified all eight living members of the upcoming class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for two deceased inductees, CU’s first three‐time All‐American in any sport, skier Frank  Brown, and longtime golf coach after lettering in the sport himself in Les Fowler.

The group will officially be inducted in the Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 10, in a luncheon ceremony at the CU Champions Center; will be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade that night; and then will be introduced at halftime of the CU‐ Southern California football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, to complete the weekend.

Those to be inducted:

  • Stan Brock, Football (1976-79)
  • Chad Brown, Football (1989-92)
  • Frank Brown, Skiing (1957-59)
  • Karrie Downey, Volleyball (1991-94)
  • Les Fowler, Golf & Golf Coach (1946-76)
  • Steve Hatchell, Football/Administration (1966-75)
  • Mark Haynes, Football (1976-79)
  • Jay Humphries, Basketball (1980-84)
  • Jamillah Lang, Women’s Basketball (1990-94)
  • Jorge Torres, Cross Country & Track (1999-2003)

All three football players were high selections in the National Football League Draft, as Haynes and Brock were first  round picks in 1980 (eighth and 12th overall, respectively), while Brown was a second‐rounder and 44th overall in the ’93 draft.

Humphries, along with Inglewood (Calif.) High School teammate Vince Kelley, were perhaps the first two high profile national recruits in men’s basketball, while Lang herself was a big‐time signee out of Washington High in Kansas City, Kan.

Downey was one of the early stars on CU’s fledgling volleyball team, joining the squad in its sixth year of existence and played a major role in the program taking a major step forward. Torres, on the other hand, was a key in helping the Buffs go from perennial conference champion to winning CU’s first men’s national cross country championship in 2001.

Hatchell started as a football team manager doing what they do – laundry, sizing equipment, fixing helmets –  to being an  assistant to the athletic director, the late Eddie Crowder, and being the right‐hand man to ski coach Bill Marolt at the front end of CU’s eight straight NCAA ski titles. After a short stint as co‐sports information director, he moved on to several high profile collegiate positions with the Big 8, Metro and Southwest conferences, with a run as the Orange Bowl’s executive director sprinkled in‐between, to where he is now, the top man with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

Frank Brown was an All‐American in both alpine and Nordic events three straight years, while Fowler starred as a golfer in the late 1940s and took over coaching the team in 1948 through his retirement midway during the 1976‐77 athletic year.

All inductees were nominated by their peers in the Alumni C‐Club or by members of the selection committee; 27  semifinalists emerged from over 60 names originally submitted over the last three years. There are now 101 members (plus the ’59 ski team, CU’s first national champions) in the CU Athletic HOF since its inception in 1998. An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from his or her CU career and retired from professional sports (teams) to be considered for induction.

With an induction every year instead of on a biennial basis as was the case for the first 16 years of the Hall, CU has been able to get more of those who are deserving of the recognition honored in a shorter time span with larger induction classes over the last four years.