Canton football coach's pieces of history and the stories behind them captivate his players

By Robert Przybylo Modified: September 19, 2008 at 6:59 am •  Published: September 19, 2008

A knee injury derailed Davis' career at Central Oklahoma, and by age 23, he was both the football coach and athletic director at Goodwell High.

But when his wife, Rachel, was accepted to a veterinarian school in St. Kitts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he knew football would be put on the backburner.

Instead of soaking in the sun, he went to work. He learned all he could about the area. He worked as both an archeologist and safari guide.

"The most interesting thing we found were chains — slave chains,” Robert Davis said. "When you think about what these chains have seen and represent, it humbles you so much.”

The Davises eventually decided it was time to return to Oklahoma. He found a home in Canton. The football team has found a coach who will stick with them.

The Tigers went 9-1 in Davis' first year as coach in 2005. It was the program's first winning season since 1983.

"He's like part of the family, like a big brother,” Haigler said. "Sometimes it feels like he has more energy than us. Maybe it's what he eats. He's a big inspiration.”

More than an inspiration, Davis is a storyteller. After telling various stories for years to students, he's finally starting to put a pen to paper.

His first children's book, Hoobachoo, is slated for release later this year. Davis is not concerned about the success of the book, because he said the most important thing about the project was that he did it.

"I really wasn't into history that much until I met him,” Rachel Davis said. "I look at some of the things he brings home, and all I see is clutter. But then he'll go into the background of the artifact, and it can change my mind.”

Robert Davis said he doesn't plan on staying in coaching forever. His passion is writing, and he has many other book ideas he wants to pursue.

"We look at him, and we're proud to say there is a Cashion graduate,” Robertson said.



Collectables and discovered artifacts from around the world dot Robert Davis' classroom. by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

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