Bob Davis Born: May 27, 1944 (Iola, KS)
Graduated: Topeka West High School, 1962; Washburn University, 1966
In over forty-eight years of broadcasting in Kansas, there are few sporting events Bob Davis hasn’t called. Over the years, the list of accolades and honors achieved by Davis has lengthened and today, he joins the likes of Max Falkenstien, Dev Nelson, and Gary Bender, as one of the finest voices to ever grace the Kansas airwaves.
Born in Iola, Davis grew up in Topeka where he graduated from Topeka West High School in 1962. Davis stayed in Topeka to attend college as he graduated from Washburn University in 1967 with a history degree. One year later, Davis would launch one of the most legendary broadcast careers in Kansas history.
Davis was hired by KAYS in Hays, Kansas, and he began his career working the radio switchboard, taking his turn as a disc jockey, giving on-air weather updates, and even running the camera for the local, evening sports program. His big break behind the microphone came during the summer of 1968 calling American Legion baseball.
From that first game, Davis was hooked. From dusty diamonds in the summer, to windswept football fields in the fall, to cramped gyms in the winter, Davis cut his teeth in the broadcasting business the hard way: driving countless miles on the highways of western Kansas on his way to games.
Of course, as he will no doubt say, those early years weren’t all wheel time and sports talk radio. After all, Davis’ spotter in those days was no other than his best friend and wife, Linda. And, Davis called some pretty memorable games as well, including the Fort Hays State University NAIA basketball national championship in 1984.
Following that memorable season, Davis was named as the “Voice of the Jayhawks” where he would work alongside living legend Max Falkenstien in the broadcast booth. From the fall of 1984 to the spring of 2016, Davis weathered the ups and downs of University of Kansas Athletics and etched himself in the memories of generations of Kansans.
Davis’s voice often serves as the soundtrack to many of the most memorable games of KU history, from the 1988 National Championship basketball game to the 2008 National Championship and everything in between. In total, Davis called eight Jayhawk trips to the Final Four, six KU football bowl games, including the 2008 Orange Bowl, and thousands of regular season games in both basketball and football.
As if calling KU Athletics weren’t enough, in 1997, Davis signed on to broadcast baseball games for the Kansas City Royals as well, a role he held for sixteen years.
Throughout his career, Davis earned numerous accolades for his work behind the microphone. In 2015, Davis was named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association. It was the fourteenth time Davis earned the honor since 1975. Davis was also named a two-time recipient of the Oscar Stauffer Sports Broadcasting Award by the Kansas State High School Activities Association in 1975 and 1978.
Davis was inducted to the Fort Hays State Tiger Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006, the Topeka West High School Graduates Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Topeka-Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. And today, that list gets a little longer with his induction to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, but not before we get to hear sweet baritone voice of Bob Davis behind the microphone one more time.