Charles Davis (’86, ’89)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

A member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Charles Davis is part of a long line of Volunteers who have achieved excellence in athletics.

Davis earned two degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences, a BA in political science in 1986 and an MS in history in 1989. During his time on the field for the Vols, he started four years as a defensive back, helping lead the team to a 35-7 win over Miami in the 1986 Sugar Bowl.

After graduating, Davis served in a myriad of sports-related roles, including as an assistant athletic director at Stanford University, director of the US Olympic Training Center, and as the first African American tournament director in PGA Tour history. His career naturally led him to sports broadcasting, where he was the lead analyst for the TBS college football game coverage of the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences. He also covered the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for CBS and the NBA playoffs for TNT.

In 2006, he joined FOX Sports, becoming a lead analyst for the network’s college football coverage. His easily understood broadcast style has earned him much acclaim, and in 2015, Davis joined the FOX NFL booth full time, calling his first NFL playoff game in 2019 when the New Orleans Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2020, he moved to CBS Sports to be a game analyst on CBS Television Network’s coverage of THE NFL ON CBS.

Though time has passed since playing for the Vols, Davis remains connected to UT, giving back in a variety of ways. In April 2019, he hosted four students and a faculty member from the College of Communication and Information for the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, where they were able to go behind the scenes with the NFL Network. He was also a keynote speaker at the 2019 Alumni Professionals of the SEC (APSEC) conference, which was hosted by UT.