Before beginning his near 40-year career as head coach of the Angelina College Roadrunners, Guy Davis spent a few years doing some driving and dribbling of his own as a member of the Lamar University Cardinals' basketball team. On Saturday, during half time of the Cardinals' game with the University of Texas-San Antonio, the university will honor the 1960-1961 team of which Davis was an integral part.
Those Cardinals, coached by Jack Martin and first-year assistant – and eventual coaching legend – Billy Tubbs, became the first team in school history to win a conference championship, overcoming a 9-8 start to finish 12-2 in the Lone Star Conference.
Martin, who recently celebrated his 87th birthday and is still the program's leader in wins, compiling a 335-283 record over 25 seasons, will make the trip, as will Tubbs, currently Lamar's Athletic Director. All eight members of the '60-'61 team, including Guy Davis, are expected to attend. Those players included Johnny Johnston, Wayne Aaron, James Barrum, Dale Godfrey, Jerry Cammack, Larry Augsburger and Wesley Newman.
"We had a great mixture of players who just seemed to get better and better as that season progressed," Martin said in a recent press release. "It meant a lot to our program to get that first championship. What I admired most about those young men is they did come together as a team.
"It was extremely difficult in those days to win road games in our conference, but those guys stuck together and battled their way to some tough road wins," Martin said. "They made life a lot better for me and Billy as coaches. That season was a jump start for the rest of our program."
Of Davis, who averaged 5.6 points per game that season, Martin said, "Guy Davis was a low-key sort of fellow but a very dependable and steady guard. He was the opposite of some of our other players. Some of them were wired and raring to go, and Guy was always reserved. He never got excited about his game, but we could always count on him for good, defensive play."
Davis went on to win more than 500 games for Angelina College, making the trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. in 1998. He retired from coaching following the 2006-2007 season and currently serves as AC's Athletic Director.