Buster Davis

Former Itawamba Junior College head basketball coach Buster Davis passed away last week. Davis won six North Half championships and his teams played in the state finals eight times. Davis also coached at Kossuth, Belmont and Thrasher. Kossuth won the Grand Slam in 1952.

Northeast Mississippi basketball coaching legend Windle “Buster” Davis passed away last Thursday at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was 93.

A Tishomingo County native, Davis, and his twin brother Bud, were All-State basketball players at Belmont High School and helped win two state championships as players. He then played at Jones Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College.

After a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, and with a degree from Mississippi State, Davis began his high school coaching career with stops at Thrasher High School, Kossuth High School and Belmont High School. At Kossuth in 1952, the Aggies would end their season on a 15-game win streak that included state and Grand Slam championships.

In 1962, Davis left his alma mater, Belmont, to replace his brother, Bud, as head men’s basketball coach at Itawamba Junior College. While at IJC, his Indians won six North Half titles and played in eight state championship games. During the span the Davis twins were the head coaches, IJC had 21 winning seasons and made the playoffs 13 times. In 1975, Buster Davis left coaching to focus full-time on his growing Ford dealership: Davis Ford Sales.

In 1992, the Davises were both inducted into the Itawamba Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2008, the brothers were enshrined in the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Junior Colleges Hall of Fame.

In 2007, the Davis Events Center at Itawamba Community College opened. Named in honor of the brothers, the $15.6 million dollar state-of-the-art-facility is used for basketball, concerts and community events.

A celebration of Buster Davis’s life was held at the Davis Events Center yesterday afternoon.

abby.loden@journalinc.com

Twitter: @abbyloden

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