Charles Davis is had a successful career in college football. He was a great player at the University of Tennessee and he has continued his success in his broadcasting career including working for the Big Ten Network and also various analyst appearances on NFL football broadcasts. Here's what we discussed when I caught up with him.
patton26: What was it like playing at UT when you were there?
Charles Davis: It was terrific once I got through my redshirt year and actually got on the field. I had dreamed of playing at UT, and doing so fulfilled that dream in a big way. Ups and downs? Definitely, but overall, I wouldn't change much.
patton26: What was your most memorable moment(s) while attending the University of Tennessee?
Davis: Graduating, on time, from Tennessee in four years. Getting my graduate degree in History, playing for the Vols and most importantly meeting my wife.
patton26: How was the transition from football player to broadcasting
Davis: It took awhile. I finished playing in 1986, and did not get into broadcasting until 1997, so the transition was a gradual one, not an abrupt one at all. You always miss playing, but broadcasting keeps me close to the game, and gets the adrenaline pumping in a different way.
patton26: What did you do in between your last year of playing in 1986 and 1997?
Davis: I actually worked all the way until 2000 before I just did broadcasting as my main occupation. I Interned with the SEC Commissioner's Office in 1988, coached defensive backs for the University of the Pacific in 1989, was the director of the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from 1990 to 1994, was the assistant athletic director at Stanford University from 1994 to 1996, helped open Disney's Wide World of Sports and was there from 1996 and 1997 and I also was the tournament Director for the Disney Golf Classic, a PGA TOUR event, from 1998-2000. My last year as tournament director Tiger Woods won the tournament.
patton26: Who were some of your role models growing up?
Davis: My parents, teachers, coaches. I was a huge fan of former UT QB Condredge Holloway and former LA Laker PG Earvin "Magic" Johnson as a kid.
patton26: What sport do you like to cover most? College football or professional football?
Davis: I like them both, they each have their charms. The passion/pageantry of the college game is tremendous, while the Pro game possesses the best players in the game, and each game can truly be contested on a nearly equal basis.
patton26: What do you feel your impact is on the African-American community?
Davis: I'm not sure that I have an "Impact." But, perhaps people can see me working, and feel pride, and those who might want to break into the business have another person to look at, and say, "I can do it, too." Many have come before me to help pave the way...I hope that in a small way, I'm doing the same.
patton26: What advice would you give any up-and-comers trying to break into the broadcasting/professional sports coverage world?
Davis: Be knowledgeable, thorough, honest, and fair. You have to know your sport, subjects, nuances, charms, and warts of what you are covering. And, don't forget to work at it everyday.
Many thanks to Charles Davis. Davis may be a well-known person in the broadcasting world, but he is also a down-to-earth individual who isn't too big to reach out to the everyday people of society.