Courtesy of Albany State Athletics:
Albany State University’s Sports Hall of Fame member, Dr. John Ira Davis, Jr., passed on January 11, 2023, at the age of 77.
After graduating from Monroe High School, Davis earned a basketball scholarship to attend Albany State College. Davis had a stellar basketball career as he played for the legendary Coach Robert Rainey. Davis earned his B.S. Degree in Health & Physical Education in 1969.
Davis’ professional career at Albany State College began in 1976, when he accepted the role as the men’s assistant basketball coach under Coach Oliver Jones. While working at Albany State College, Davis also served as the Activity Director of the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) from 1976 until 1990.
Davis served as the interim coach for Albany State College’s women’s basketball from 1982-84 and was named head coach in 1985. Davis led the women’s basketball team to be the sole team in the NCAA that went undefeated (28-0) in regular season play (1987). That year (1987), Davis became the first coach in ASC’s history with the SIAC and Division II Black College Women Basketball to be named Coach of the Year by six national polls (SIAC, NCAA, USA Today, Converse, Black Sports World of New York, and BCSIDA). In addition to that year, Davis was named SIAC Conference Coach of the Year five times (out of nine years as the head coach for women’s basketball). Davis is also credited with developing the Albany State University’s women’s volleyball program (1986) and was the program’s head coach for three years (1987-1990).
In 2001, Davis returned to Albany State University as the Athletic Director and Head Coach for men’s basketball. During his second stint at Albany State University, Davis led the athletic program as the school had its inaugural year in the ASU Coliseum. In addition, Davis led the men’s basketball program to championship status by returning the team to the conference championship game in 2005.
Davis was inducted into the Albany State University Sports Hall of Fame (2010).
Davis is survived by his wife of 56 years, Iris Williams Davis. To this union, the couple birthed five sons Patrick Davis (Janet) of Atlanta, GA, Stanley Davis (Tarsha) of Tallahassee, FL, Vinson Davis (Chianti) of Albany, GA, Stephen Davis (Erica) of Albany, GA, and John I. Davis, III (Raymonica) of Albany, GA.