Every team has a leader. In football, all eyes stay on the quarterback, and in basketball it’s all about the point guard.
Coaches lead from off the field or court while teams name captains to lead during regulation play.
Seniors often lead through experience, and sometimes it’s the unspoken leaders that do the most and walk away with an MVP title. Just as every athletic team has a leader, so does every other organization in life.
In the team that is the students, faculty and staff at Murray State, we have a fearless, devoted leader in President Bob Davies.
He is our quarterback, our point guard, our experienced leader and at times he is our quiet, kind contributor. His face is everywhere and he makes his presence known everywhere – especially at athletic events – but much of what he does goes unnoticed, as well.
Flashback to a few months ago: I’m standing outside Winslow Dining Hall. Eight inches of snow cover the ground, and classes are canceled.
It’s cold, really cold, and my friend and I are rummaging through our wallets looking for our student IDs just to swipe in and grab some pizza.
In true Mallory fashion, I’ve lost mine, and my friend can’t find hers either. We’ve really dropped the ball here. This is where one of the wonderful things about sports comes into play – there’s always someone to step up and have your back.
Who steps up here, but President Davies himself.
And I mean he really, literally steps up as he walks up the steps to Winslow and asks us what’s going on. We explain that we don’t have our lives together and we can’t find our IDs and he responds, “I’ll vouch for you. I’m not sure how much good it’ll do though.”
Just like that, our quarterback gave us a new route and we’re on our way into Winslow to eat away our snow day boredom and proclaim Davies the Most Valuable President.
Flashback to two weeks ago: I’m sitting courtside at the basketball game against Old Dominion University. Director of Athletics Allen Ward is to my right and Davies is to his right.
Ward says something to me about how he’ll try to keep Davies quiet, but it’s obvious he’s already excited for the game.
Excitement isn’t exactly status quo on press row. As a student journalist, I’m forced to act unbiased and professional despite how desperately I want the Racers to win.
Ward is expected to do the same when he’s sitting courtside, as is Davies. Davies, however, was unable to contain his love for the Racers throughout the game. He cracked me up as he slammed the scoretable, muttered cheers and even clapped at times.
It amazed me that in less than a year, Davies has developed a passion for our team – and for our University in general – that he was unable to hide. Despite what was going on in the game, he was always encouraging the team.
He was never negative. He never cursed. (Not that I did either – I would never do that while watching a game. Cough cough.)
He was always supportive, and even when it looked like hope was lost, he was worried about letting the players know how proud he was of them after the game.
Sometimes at games I’ve learned to be a fly on the wall, and I was lucky to be a fly on the wall from just one seat away and learn first-hand why Davies comes to all the sporting events that he does. He comes because he really, truly cares about our student athletes.
Coming to games has been more than publicity for Davies, and more than a show to our students.
He’s already made a huge impact on campus morale and Racer fandom. Especially during his short time here.
It’s not often that I see a person at games as often as I’m there, but I can say that about him without a doubt.
He’s nothing short of a game-changer at our University, and I’m thankful for the interactions we’ve already had and more that are sure to come.
Thanks for quarterbacking our team, President Davies. You truly are the real MVP.
Column by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor