High school: Southern High School in Durham, North Carolina
Number of years coaching: 17 years of high school track, 36 years of age group track
Accomplishments: Coached two State Championship teams, 35 individual State Champions, Crescent 6 Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1993. 1994), NCHSAA State Champions Coach Award (1995-1996), National Age Group Track & Field Coach of the Year (1998) Raleigh News & Observer Tar Heel of the Week (2001), National Scholastic Sports Foundation Honorary Referee Adidas Outdoor Championships (2002), James E. Shepard Sertoma Club “Service to Mankind” Award (2008), NC USATF Coach of the Year (2003), USATF National Youth Chair Award (2009), USOC National Development Volunteer Coach of the Year (2009), The President Volunteer Service Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), The President Call to Service Award (2008, 2009, 2010), Produced North Carolina 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year, Durham Striders President/Head Coach since 1980
What makes Coach Frank Davis so inspiring?
Nominated by a fellow coach, Frank Davis is described as “an enduring and dedicated track coach for the past 30 years, who gives his time and his personal resources to make sure that the children whom he coaches have every opportunity to achieve their dreams of college and productive lives as adults.” Coaching in a disadvantaged, low income community with low graduation rates, Coach Davis believes every child deserves a chance and children only fail because others convince them they can’t succeed and are not worthy. With that in mind, he turns these athletes’ lives around through track by “developing individual strength, toughness, discipline, focus, and achievement despite, if not especially because of, the obstacles/odds in the way.” One story that really shows his how he inspired and changed the life of a former athlete starts when Frank Davis noticed her talent when she was just eleven years old on the playground. “He invited her to join his club team, the Durham Striders. She was reticent at first, had no money to register, no uniform, no shoes…he paid for her registration, her shoes, picked her up, and made sure that one of us who coached brought her home. Her father could not support her-they had been ‘lost’ to drugs and violence, but this athlete saw a way ‘out’ through Coach Davis’ encouragement and exposure to new places, new friends, and new dreams.” To make a long story short, this particular athlete excelled as a high school athlete, earned her diploma and a college track scholarship, and continued on to dental school.