Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Harold Davis of Westminster College Selected for 2004 Induction Into College Football Hall of Fame

For Release
Contact: Joe Onderko

Harold Davis of Westminster College Selected for 2004 Induction Into College Football Hall of Fame

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Former Westminster College football standout Harold Davis (photo attached) is one of nine individuals named today to the 2004 Divisional Hall of Fame Class of the College Football Hall of Fame. He will be officially inducted during the 2004 Enshrinement Ceremonies at the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., on August 13-14, 2004.

Davis was a standout quarterback for the Titan football team from 1953-56, and during that span became the first and only three-time First Team All-American in Titan Football history (1954-56). During his four-year Westminster career, Davis led Westminster to an overall record of 28-1-1 (.950), including the first undefeated seasons in school history in 1953 (8-0), 1955 (6-0-1) and 1956 (8-0).

"When I first got the news about the induction, my thoughts immediately turned to the guys I played with at Westminster," said Davis. "I thought about men like Bill White, Jay DeBolt, Vince Cortese and Bill Freshwater
- guys I started with as freshmen in 1953. It was wonderful to recall all the great times we had together on campus in New Wilmington, as well as the tremendous success we had as a team for our coach, Dr. Harold Burry, on the football field."

Davis is a member of a divisional induction class which features six players and three coaches from NCAA Division I-AA, II, III and NAIA football programs. Other players to be inducted include defensive back Darrell Green (Texas A & I, 1978, '80-82), running back Garney Henley (Huron, 1956-59), back Jackie Hunt (Marshall, 1938-41), tight end Dan Ross (Northeastern, 1975-78), and wide receiver William Stromberg (Johns Hopkins, 1978-81). Coaches to be inducted include Thomas Beck (Illinois Benedictine/Elmhurst/Grand Valley State, 1970-90), Charlie Richard (Baker, 1980-90, '92-94), and Dick Strahm (Findlay, 1975-97).

Davis becomes the fourth person from Westminster College to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in the past nine years. His coach, Burry, who posted a 127-31-5 (.794) coaching mark from 1952-71 and led the Titans to the inaugural NAIA Division II National Championship in 1970, entered the Hall in the inaugural Divisional Class in 1996. In 1998, former Titan lineman/linebacker Larry Pugh was tabbed for induction. Pugh was a two-time All-American (1962, '64) at Westminster and went on to join the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Burry's successor as Titan head coach, Dr. Joseph Fusco, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Fusco recorded a record of 154-34-3 (.814) from 1972-90, leading the Titans to four NAIA Division II national titles (1976, '77, '88, '89). A total of 61 players and 26 coaches have entered the Hall of Fame since the enshrinement of the first Divisional Class in 1996.

"Since coming to Westminster, it has been my great honor and pleasure to get to know Harold Davis. He was just back on campus last fall when the 1953, 1955, and 1956 Westminster undefeated football teams were honored," said Westminster Director of Athletics Jim Dafler. "The Department of Athletics is very excited that Harold has been selected for induction, and very proud that he will be joining other Titan greats in the College Football Hall of Fame."

Davis' athletic exploits were not limited to the gridiron. He was also a four-year letterman for the Titan basketball team (1953-57) who finished his cage career with 1,209 points, which ranked third all-time at Westminster at the end of his playing days and still ranks 17th all-time at the College. He was also a standout for the Titan track & field team. He is a member of the Titan Sports Hall of Fame as an inductee on both the All-Time Football and All-Time Basketball Teams.

"I truly believe that Harold Davis was the greatest all-around athlete I have witnessed at Westminster College," said Fusco, who began as a student at Westminster in 1956-60, then returned to his alma mater as a football coach and also served as Titan athletic director prior to retiring from the College in 1999. "I believe if Dr. Burry was alive today, he would say the same thing. His athletic accomplishments have never been equalled, and likely never will be."

A native of Youngstown, Ohio and graduate of North High School, Davis notes that he originally signed with NCAA Division I Kent State University coming out of high school. "I was signed and sealed to Kent, but not delivered. Even after I signed at Kent, Coach Burry kept coming to the house trying to get me to come to Westminster. It made my parents very happy when I finally decided to go to Westminster, because of the immense respect they had for Dr. Burry.

"After an all-star game my senior year, I spent my first night in New Wilmington at the house of Pinky Carson (longtime member of the Titan "chain gang") and later spent three weeks at his home during the summer.
I didn't know it then, but found out later that Dr. Burry was hiding me from other coaches who wanted to sign me away from Westminster."

Davis retired after a career as an executive with the Xerox Corporation and is currently President of H&S Consulting. He resides in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., with his wife, Shirley. The couple has two sons, H. Wade and Michael, and several grandchildren.

As he heads into college football immortality, Davis has just once regret.

"I truly wish Dr. Burry (who died in 1992) was here to see the induction and be a part of it, because I know how proud he would be. I know he's looking down on me right now and smiling," he said.

Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is ranked among national leaders in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 351 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and was recognized by the Templeton Guide as a "Character Building College."

Nearly 1,600 students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty, while choosing from 40 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa. campus.


Joe Onderko
Sports Information Director
Westminster College/Presidents' Athletic Conference
101 Old Main, Market Street
New Wilmington, PA 16172-0001
P-(724) 946-6357
F-(724) 946-7187