From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Guest Feature: Buddy Davis, Hall of Famer

Nov 10, 2013 | Guest Feature

I had the honor of welcoming the 2013 class of the Louisiana Tech University Athletics Hall of Fame. The group of former student athletes, coach, and associate had remarkable records of accomplishment, and reinforced to us all how rich of an athletics heritage that Louisiana Tech has.  Sportswriter Buddy Davis, softball coach Bill Galloway, football athlete Walter Johnson, track athlete April Malveo, and basketball & baseball athlete George Stone were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Buddy Davis served as lead-off hitter on Saturday. His remarks had us all laughing, crying, and reflecting about Tech athletics and how grateful we are to have had Buddy to capture the stories of Tech athletics over the past 6 decades. I asked him if I could have his written comments to include in this blog, and he quickly agreed.  Buddy added quite a few wonderful stories as he made these remarks, and they are not captured here.  Thank you, Buddy. “I am very humbled and appreciative to be a member of the 2013 Induction Class for the Louisiana Tech University Athletics Hall of Fame. I want to extend my appreciation and thanks to the selection committee and all members of Tech Nation who cast votes in the selection process. Congratulations to all of my fellow inductees, April Malveo, Bill Galloway, Walter Johnson and George Stone, and particularly for George Stone, who is a fellow 1964 graduate of Ruston High School and has been a lifelong friend. It is particularly satisfying to be going in the same year as “Stoney” even though he struck me out every time I faced him in Little League baseball. I also want to extend a special thanks to all those who have supported me over the past several months while I have been recovering from a stroke. The letters, text messages, emails, cards and other remembrances have been especially gratifying and I appreciate all of them. The good lord blessed me with the gift of writing. My mom and father were constant beacons of support in my dream of being a sports writer. To Rick Hohlt, publisher of the Ruston Daily Leader, and Scott Boatright, a co-worker and fellow writer for sports and news at the Leader, both have become the brothers I never had. To my co-workers at the Ruston Daily Leader and all of my friends in the Louisiana Sports Writers Associations, I appreciate all you have done for me. Contrary to popular reports, I did not start covering sports when the Titanic hit that iceberg, it only seems that way. But I did begin when Richard Nixon was president and Elvis was “The King.” During the time that I have covered Tech athletics, there have been 16 head football coaches, 11 athletics directors and press conferences at all hours of the day and night. I’ve been fortunate to cover some of the greatest athletes in college and professional history at Tech. Terry Bradshaw, one of the NFL’s All-Time Greatest Quarterbacks. Karl Malone, the best power forward in basketball history. Teresa Weatherspoon, a legend in the WNBA. And one of the most dominant women’s basketball programs in history. Did I mention Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the infamous “Duck Dynasty” award-winning series and the world’s most famous maker of duck calls? It was back in the late 1960s when I had a twice-a-week, 7:30 a.m. journalism class at Tech under the late Pete Dosher as Phil sat on the row behind me. Invariably, he would show up a tad late because he had been in a duck blind or seeking other wildlife and would show up wearing camo. The rest is history. Now Phil is the most famous manufacturer of duck calls in the world and one of the stars on the award-winning “Duck Dynasty” Show. It all began here, on the Tech campus. I always wanted to be a sports writer. That was my dream at the age of 14 after I discovered I wasn’t going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But I had to be around sports, so I pursued a career as a sports writer. After I graduated from Tech in 1969 I had an offer from the Dallas Morning News to become its business page editor. Of all things, Buddy Davis being the editor of a business page. It was an enticing offer, but my heart rested with sports, particularly sports in Lincoln Parish because it was rich in so many great athletes and teams. I just felt like this was the place to be, so I turned down that offer from the Dallas Morning News. And besides, had I taken it, I wouldn’t be standing here today accepting this honor. I again want to express my appreciation. Thank you. It is an honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”