Bob Davis Hall addition to Moby ensures remembrance of football coach

Sam Lounsberry

The man who was instrumental in the addition of Moby Arena to the Colorado State campus 50 years ago is now honored by one of the gym’s facilities.
 
Just a bit more recognition was due to the impact legendary former CSU football coach Bob Davis left on the athletic department, it was decided in 2012.
 At least, school officials and CSU boosters thought the late Davis could be more remembered. Therefore, when Moby underwent the first phase of its most recent major upgrade, which began in 2012, a 5,000 square foot banquet room was in the budget, and was named Bob Davis Hall at its completion.
 
The room, located just behind the display cases of the CSU Hall of Fame area on Moby’s south concourse, now hosts press conferences and formal banquets.
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A portrait of legendary CSU football coach and former athletic director Bob Davis hanging in Bob Davis Hall inside Moby Arena. Photo by Sam Lounsberry.
 
The man it’s named after likely still would have deserved a room with his name on it if he had just been the school’s football coach for nine seasons. But, Davis left much more of an imprint on the University than one consisting solely of winning football games.
 
Yes, from 1947-1956, he coached Colorado A&M to a 54-33-2 record while leading the Aggies to their first-ever bowl appearance in 1949, the Raisin Bowl.
 
But during his tenure, in 1953, Davis’ focus shifted to more than just football. That was the year he succeeded Harry Hughes as athletic director, and began a career as a successful executive in sports. According to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which Davis was inducted into in 2001, he also served on the U.S. Olympic Selection committee and on the honors court for the National Football Hall of Fame. His CSU accomplishments as athletic director include pushing for the construction of both Moby Arena and Hughes Stadium.
 
Moby, which opened in 1966, continues to serve as headquarters for CSU’s whole athletic program, as well as the home arena for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team. The arena celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with commemorative events during basketball season.
 
Hughes Stadium, which will serve its last season as the site of the Rams’ home football games this fall before a new on-campus stadium replaces it, opened in 1968. Sadly, Davis never saw a game played in either structure he helped erect, Moby nor Hughes, as he died of cancer at age 56 in 1965.
 
But he was well-remembered by his players and the Fort Collins community. Among them is Frank Faucett, an octogenarian Fort Collins resident as well as a former running back and field goal kicker under Davis at CSU.
 
When the Bob Davis Hall addition to Moby was completed, Faucett saw it in a positive light, and expressed gratitude in an interview for the boosters who donated toward the renovation – namely Robert Everitt, whose name is listed next to his wife Joyce as a top donor on a plaque in Bob Davis Hall.
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A mural containing a short Bob Davis bio over a backdrop of Moby Arena while it was under construction makes up one wall in Bob Davis Hall. Davis was crucial in the addition of Moby to campus. Photo by Sam Lounsberry.
 
“He ramrodded the Bob Davis room, and that was real good,” Faucett said of Robert Everitt, a longtime CSU booster and Fort Collins philanthropist who passed away in February at the age of 87. “He was the one who was instrumental, I think, in getting that started.”
 
Faucett played four years for Davis in his first four as CSU head coach, from 1947-51. As an 18-year-old freshman, he competed in practice against men who had come back to Colorado A&M as veterans of World War II. “A tough task,” Faucett admitted.
 
But there was one thing many of those Aggies had in common: they were local products.
 
“Bob Davis, you know, he was a unique coach, I think … He recruited Colorado kids,” Faucett said. “There were a lot of Colorado kids on our team. Fum McGraw, Tuffy Mullison, Dale Dodrill and all those guys. So he recruited Colorado very heavily.”
 
Faucett’s story is no different. He came to Colorado A&M from Las Animas, Colorado.
 
“I played in the all-state game, and that’s where I met Bob Davis,” Faucett said. “He was there and asked me if I would, you know, like to come up and visit the next week. So I did, and he offered me what they called a grant-in-aid back in those days – tuition and fees.”
 
The demeanor of Davis might be different from the one often associated with the stereotypical old-school football coach. In reality, Faucett said he was a calm coach, and simply played the players he noticed produce the best results.
 
“He was all-business,” Faucett said. “He never yelled at you or anything like that, he just expected you do to your job. And if you did your job and did it well, you got to play.”
 
In fact, Faucett likened some of Davis’ philosophies to those of more recent CSU coaches, namely Mike Bobo, who is heading into his second year at the program’s helm.
 
“I think they’re both convinced their program is going to win,” Faucett said. “That was (Davis’) philosophy, ‘We’re going to take this program, and we’re going to be winners.’ And coach Bobo, he has the same philosophy, I think: He’s going to win – and he’ll tell you that.”
 
As an alumnus of the football program and resident of Fort Collins for seven decades, Faucett said he is looking forward to discovering the direction Bobo has the program heading when the Rams hit Hughes Stadium for one last season this fall.
 
“I went to the practice the other day, and man, they’re working,” Faucett said. “(Bobo) works those guys. It’ll be interesting to see how everything ties in this year now that he’s got a year under his belt.”
 
With the addition of Bob Davis Hall to Moby Arena, new generations of Rams, all the way from fans to student-athletes and new coaches, can become aware of Bob Davis’ legacy, and the legacies of those under his umbrella, such as Faucett’s.
 
Sam Lounsberry can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @samlounz.