By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Durwood Tutor remembers his first day of class and basketball practice at what was then known as Itawamba Junior College.
“I got out of class at 2 and knew practice started at 4,” he said. “I went back to my room and then about 15 minutes before practice, I walked to the gym.”
His coach, Kindle “Bud” Davis, was waiting for him.
“He wanted to know where I’d been,” said Tutor, 70, the director of the Hancock Learning Center in Tupelo. “He told me I was to report to the gym when I got out of class.
“I did from then on.”
Davis, 86, died Saturday in Memphis following a brief illness. He coached Tutor and the Indians to back-to-back undefeated seasons and state championships in 1961 and ‘62.
The Tishomingo County native left coaching following the ‘62 season and entered the automotive business. Davis and his twin brother, Buster, who followed in his coaching footsteps at ICC, were faithful supporters of the school.
The Davis Event Center on the Fulton campus, the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, was named in their honor.
“He was a great guy and a great coach,” said former player Billy Coleman, 74, a 6-foot-6 forward on the ‘62 team. “He knew what he was doing and made sure you knew what you were doing on the court.”
Tutor, who was a 6-foot guard, says Davis was a disciplined X’s and O’s coach.
“He had an offense we ran against a zone and an offense we ran against a man defense,” Tutor said. “We practiced those every day. The same was true for defense.
“We had certain plays we ran in certain situations. If we executed them, they worked.”
Coleman, a Navy veteran who played for Davis in 1957 and ’62, says the Indians were always well-conditioned.
“We were in shape,” he said, then laughed, remembering the tough practices. “We were able to play the full 40 minutes.”
Visitation for Davis was held Monday at ICC. Visitation is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. today at White Station Church of Christ in Memphis. Burial will be in a private ceremony on Wednesday.