Four Questions with retired coach Robert Davis

Football, FourToday, our Four Questions feature is answer by Robert Davis, who retired from Westside of Macon after the 2008 season with 352 wins. He won 20 region titles in his 36 seasons as a head coach. His 1976, 1981 and 1988 Warner Robins teams were state champions.

Robert Davis

1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach? “It would surely have to be one of the championship games. In 1976, we beat Griffin [34-0]. Ron Simmons hit their quarterback, who went to Clemson, and knocked the ball about 40 yards away from him and picked it up and we got field position. I remember that play. We had a little ol’ running back in there with Jimmy Womack and James Brooks named Randy Coleman. Griffin was expecting Womack and Brooks, and rightly so, and we ran a trap with Randy, and he went 60 yards. That was impressive. I don’t think anybody could’ve beaten us that year. We didn’t have any weaknesses. All I had to do was get them on the field and keep them between the ruts.” [The 1976 Warner Robins team, still considered one of the state’s best ever, won Georgia’s Class AAA championship and was awarded a national title by the National Sports News Service. Brooks played at Auburn, Simmons at Florida State and Womack at Georgia.]

2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? “My son [Bob Jr.] played for one – Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Coach Bowden was quite influential for a lot of people and still is. He was just down to earth. He didn’t talk real fast and just told the truth. I watched him recruit three of my players at one time. He told them this is what we do and how we do it, and if you don’t like that, don’t come here. In high school, I had a lot of friends over the years. I’d really want my son to play for me.”

3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? “We used to all say, ‘Hit some damn body.’ I don’t know if you could print that. We didn’t curse around our kids much, but we would say damn and hell sometimes. I believed in running the ball and stopping the run, and we won a lot doing that. It’s not the stuff they’re playing now, the basketball on grass. Nobody runs off tackle now, and nobody G-blocks, the old-fashioned stuff. We wanted to be physical.”

4. Which about football today would you like to see changed? ”I know I’m just old-fashioned, but throwing kids out of the game because of a hit [illegal contract or targeting], I don’t know where all that’s coming from. When I came along, everybody hit everybody. It was just the way we were brought up. Sometimes it looks like a guy makes a good hit, he uses his shoulder, and the next thing you know, there’s a flag, and they’re going to throw him out of the game. I know they’re trying to teach the player how to do that [correctly], but you teach them to be physical, and it’s not fair for them to work hard all week and just that quick, the official throws a flag and you’re done. Thank God they’ve got replay [in college].” [Davis’s answers to this question were about football in general today, especially the college game, and not specifically high school football, where ejections for illegal tackles are less common.]

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