Master of Miracles
By Carrie Beth Catron
The grandeur (or lack thereof) of the plain, solid wooden door as you walk into his office certainly doesn’t express the worth of this man to our community. Kermit Davis has illustrated the power of man to make “lightning strike” and create a buzz among the country that has helped Murfreesboro find a place on the nation’s map. Just as you’ve always heard, this movement came with no lack of devotion, hard work, time, and commitment. It’s taken a lot of local community building to develop the foundation for this amazing national level recognition.
Kermit is the son of the former Mississippi State head coach, Kermit Davis, Sr. and the truly devoted coach’s wife and elementary school teacher, Nancy Davis. He feels very fortunate, because at a VERY young age, he knew what he was going to do for his lifetime. Kermit followed his dad to every practice and every game, often sitting on the bench and being as involved as possible. Basketball coaching is a true dream come true for him. In both his parenting and mentoring of many young adults, he realizes that very few have that kind of direction and understanding of a future career, even in their early 20’s. He is very thankful for his father’s amazing example, which is truly a strong influence, as both of Kermit’s siblings and his daughter Claire have also followed in their father’s/grandfather’s footsteps through his post coaching career in the furniture industry.
This familial influence has also played a role in his devotion to being deeply rooted in the community where he coaches, and making it truly home for his family. Kermit and his brother and sister were lucky enough to spend the majority of their childhoods in the same location of Starksville, MS, as their dad served the majority of his career there. That is not the norm for the family of a coach. Although Kermit and his wife Bette, to whom he credits the solidarity of their household and also as a rock of devotion and spirit for him, had ELEVEN different homes in different locations early in his career, when they found HOME in Murfreesboro at just the right ages of their daughters, Ally and Claire, he vowed to commit himself to staying for the long haul. And that, he has. The house that he and Bette purchased upon their arrival into Murfreesboro more than 14 years ago is still the house they call home today. He commends the amazing school system that was so attractive then and still is, as well as a community who wrapped its arms of support around Ally, their famous daughter with Down syndrome.
Kermit came into a good basketball program that needed updates of the culture and the facility, as well as a greater focus on academics. He has discovered and well implemented his theory of developing a program throughout the community, not just on the basketball court. He understands the importance of the young men he coaches feeling as though they have a greater purpose than winning ball games, and as a result, their self worth grows, and wins will come. His teams have been the proud recipient of the Community Service Award at the astute Raiders Choice Awards 3 of the 4 years that the program has been in existence. Davis also has a sincere interest in preparing his players for the future through a focus on academics. I think his 100% graduation rate reflects his success, as there are very few teams who have won a game in the NCAA tournament that have that claim to fame.
What a stamp on Murfreesboro Kermit Davis and his beautiful family have made. To know him is to understand his appreciation for the fabulous quality of life and supportive community of friends that he and his family are so proud of in their claimed hometown of Murfreesboro. I’m also pretty sure that he’s done something for our community that a value can’t be placed upon-he has given each of us a sense of PRIDE because we live in the city of the “Middle Tennessee Miracle,” and I’m certain most everyone, even Charles Barkley, knows where Murfreesboro is now.