As an articulate, hardworking college football analyst and sideline reporter, Steve Davis made a name for himself as a network sportscaster right out of college.
In 1976, Davis was hired as an analyst on ABC regional college football broadcasts, making his debut with Chris Lincoln, now sports director at Tulsa's KTUL-8, on a Tulsa-Oklahoma State game.
“ABC knew him so well because they had done so much with him while he was at OU and he is so outgoing,” Lincoln said.
Lincoln, who said he did from six to eight broadcasts with Davis from 1976 to 1981 on ABC, said he was amazed at his preparation.
“I never worked with anybody that came in as prepared as Steve Davis,” he said. “He would show up at our production meeting with a three-ring binder with stuff that he got from both coaches.”
Although Davis handled both commentator and sideline reporter roles in his 18-year network career, he clearly preferred working in the booth.
After serving as a sideline reporter for ABC's No. 1 game in 1981, he jumped to CBS in 1982, working as an analyst on Big Eight, Southwest Conference and SEC games.
“I never got comfortable on the sidelines,” Davis told The Oklahoman in 1982. “It's the worst seat in the stadium. The problem is when you get a story down there, it needs to be presented immediately. You're at the mercy of the producers.”
In 1982, Davis also began a stint as host of “The Barry Switzer Show.”
Family and business obligations forced Davis to retire from sportscasting, although he made a return in 1996 as a midseason replacement for Eric Dickerson on FSN's Big 12 telecasts.
“I was having the time of my life watching my son play,” Davis said of Bo Davis, then a Jenks High School quarterback.