Davis Named A MEAC Coaching Legend
Former Savannah State head football coach and athletics director William “Bill” Davis has been named one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Legends of Coaching.
Davis was a candidate because of his coaching tenure at South Carolina State.
To be considered on the ballot, coaches must have served as a head coach in the MEAC for a period of at least four years, must have won at least one MEAC championship and must have had a winning record.
Nearly 1,900 total votes were cast, with fans, media representatives, institution sports information contacts and others taking part.
In seven seasons as head football coach at SC State, Davis won four championships while compiling records of 27-7 in the MEAC and 54-25-1overall. He led Bulldogs to two appearances in the NCAA Div. I-AA playoffs, going 2-2 between1981 and 1982. Davis was named MEAC Coach of the Year two times (1980 and 1981) and SBN National Black College Coach of the Year in 1980. he compiled two 10-game winning seasons and coached 50 All-MEAC performers, including three (3) MEAC Players of the Year and 21 All-Americans. Davis’ Bulldogs were crowned SBN Black College National Champions in 1981. He was a 1995 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductee.
Davis coached the SSU football team from 1986-92 and 2000-01. He won more games than any other football coach at Savannah State with 52 wins.
While at SSU, he was named the National Coach of the Year by the Sheridan Broadcasting Network in 1989 and SIAC Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1988. Under Davis, SSU made its only trip to the Division II playoffs in 1992. Davis served as the SSU athletics director from 1990- 92. He was inducted into the SSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
The Union, South Carolina native made other head coaching stops at Johnson C. Smith (1997-98) and Tennessee State (1993-95). Davis died in 2002.
The Southern Conference released their preseason football all-conference team during their annual Football Media Days and Savannah native Travis Blackshear was among those earning preseason honors.
Blackshear, who will be a red-shirt junior at Furman, earned second team honors as a defensive back.
During the Spring 2021 season, Blackshear was in the starting lineup in six of the Paladins seven games. The former Benedictine standout had 21 tackles, one interception, and four pass deflections. He had a season high nine tackles to go along with an interception and pass breakup versus Mercer and had five stops and pass deflection against East Tennessee State.
SIAC Announces Student-Athlete
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has announced that a mandatory vaccination policy will be in place for student-athletes competing in the conference beginning in the 2021-22 school year.
Pursuant to this policy, all SIAC student-athletes, athletic related staff, coaches, officials, and auxiliary groups (e.g., coaches, officials, marching bands, dance & cheer) participating in SIAC-sponsored sports are required to be fully vaccinated with a CDC-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Commissioner Gregory Moore remarked, “Within the context of rising COVID-19 infection rates, student-athletes are a particularly vulnerable stakeholder group who, as a result of their athletic participation, are required to travel off-campus and compete against and interact with student-athletes on other campuses. These athletic related activities not only increase the risk of exposure to our student-athletes, but also increase the risk of exposure to their classmates and other campus stakeholder once those athletes return to campus.” Moore went on to add that “The SIAC policy decision establishing vaccination as prerequisite to intercollegiate athletic competition participation is guided by the overarching interest to protect the health and safety of SIAC student-athletes, and was decided in the light of overwhelming data and evidence which has demonstrated the effectiveness of authorized COVID-19 vaccines combating coronavirus as well as its delta variant.”
A student-athlete may be exempted from the vaccine requirement if they have received a campus-approved exemption for medical or religious reasons. This exemption will not excuse the student-athlete from COVID testing per guidelines established by local and county health officials as well as any additional campus requirements.