When students and other basketball fans approach Georgetown College’s venerable Alumni Gym from January 16, 2010 and thereafter, some may wonder about the new Davis-Reid prefix on two facades. Many alumni will know of one or both titans of coaching because they attended the liberal arts school as the legends of Bob Davis and Jim Reid were in the making.
Mid South Conference rival Campbellsville University – currently ranked No. 21 in the NAIA poll – is a fitting foe for our (No. 13) Tiger men at this historic Renaming & Dedication of Davis-Reid Alumni Gym. The ceremony will take place at halftime of that game, which tips off at 4 p.m. (The women’s team will also take on Campbellsville at 2.) Fans are invited to a reception afterwards in the George H.W. Bush Center for Fitness next door. As a courtesy, please try to RSVP by noon Thursday (Jan. 14) to 502-863-8041 or (toll free) 877-640-0107.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize two coaches who coached for a combined 43 years. Thousands of students attended Georgetown College during these years and remember the quality of both the basketball program and the basketball coach,” said Dan Miller '82 Vice President for Institutional Advancement, who witnessed some of the Reid Years (1973-96) and sees Bob Davis (1953-73) at many a GC event to this day.
“Very few colleges in the country are fortunate enough to have the caliber of scholar athletes and coaches like those that have been a part of the Georgetown family,” Miller continued. “Their winning records are impressive but the number of lives they touched and changed is what matters most. I am proud of the fact that Coach Davis and Coach Reid are both alumni of Georgetown College and came back to their alma mater to lead the men’s basketball program.”
Bob Davis ‘50, left his mark on Georgetown College as basketball, baseball and football coach and chair of the Physical Education Department. His 415 career basketball victories stood as a school record for 20 years and his 1961 team was runner-up in the NAIA National Tournament. During his outstanding career, he has been inducted in the NAIA Hall of Fame (one of five GC alumni so honored), and been named NAIA Coach of the Year and served vice chair of the U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee. After coaching at Georgetown, he continued his career as head coach at Auburn.
Jim Reid ‘70 starred as a player, helping lead the Tigers to 82 wins. He was named head coach for men's basketball in 1973, taking over for legendary Bob Davis, and proceeded to eclipse Davis' win total to become Georgetown all-time leader in basketball victories with 529. His 1996 team was runner-up in the NAIA National Tournament. His stellar career – including being named NAIA Coach of the Year twice – led to an NAIA Hall of Fame induction.
Their names are certainly already ingrained in the minds of all who follow Georgetown College. Bob Davis and the late Jim Reid were inducted into the Georgetown College Athletics Hall of Fame’s first class (’98). In December, the 14th annual Jim Reid Classic was held in Alumni Gym and each spring the Davis-Reid Golf Scramble raises money for the program. And, both have been honored with a Georgetown College Alumni Achievement Award.
Current coach Happy Osborne, who was an assistant to Reid for 16 seasons before the latter’s untimely death, continues to build on but be humbled by his predecessors’ success. “When you talk about the best coaches in the history of college basketball, these two gentlemen have to be in the conversation. You’re talking NAIA and Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame…and two of the best winning percentages of all time” Osborne said with great reverence. “It will be an honor for our guys to play in a gym with their names on it.”
Osborne, whose 1998 squad won the NAIA National Tournament, has an .845 winning percentage with 410 wins and 75 losses in this his 14th season as head coach. Bob Davis was 415-182 (.695) in 20 seasons; Jim Reid 529-199 (.727) in 23 seasons. That trio is primarily responsible for Georgetown leading the NAIA in winning percentage at .665 – that’s 21 coaches over 104 seasons going 1,625-817-1.
A Tiger through-and-through, Mike Calhoun ’72 has had close relationships with all three coaches: Davis was his coach, Reid was a teammate, and Osborne now coaches the program he still loves and helps raise money for as Alumni Association Director. Coach Davis, he said, was the reason for his choosing the coaching profession initially. “But, every job I’ve had has been related to Bob Davis and the ‘GC Family’.”
Calhoun, a former Division 1 coach himself, said Davis was “one of the toughest, most preserving coaches of that era…(a football coach) who learned on his own from other basketball coaches, then combined that with his own personality. He was team-oriented, tough, and masterful at putting roles together.”
Of teammate Reid, Calhoun said, “If you were going to build the perfect example of the Georgetown College basketball player from the ground up it would be Jim. He was one of the toughest players ever – mentally and physically – and extremely team-oriented.”
Coaches Davis and Reid are a dual reminder to Mike Calhoun of three keys to life: (1) competitive spirit, (2) tremendous loyalty to all, and (3) perseverance and hanging tough.
Capacity: 2,500 (Basketball) 1,500 (Volleyball)
Alumni Gymnasium is used chiefly for Physical Education classes, and intercollegiate basketball and volleyball. It was dedicated in 1926 to replace the gymnasium that had been used since 1893. Inside the cornerstone lies a copper box containing the history of Georgetown College. The columns of the gym are patterned after the style of Giddings and the building is made of cut brick, thus reflecting Colonial Revival architecture. At one time, Alumni gymnasium housed a swimming pool and the trophy room. When the chapel burned in 1930, the gym temporarily held the chapel services and various classes. Parts of the gymnasium also provided housing for students. In 1986, the gym underwent massive renovation that led to the removal of the balcony and increased capacity to 1,800 people.