Each year under his tutelage the program has reached new heights. At the 2015 National Outdoor Collegiate Archery Championships, Columbia captured the gold medal in both the recurve and compound divisions. This was the first time in program history that Columbia finished first in the compound. 11 years’ prior, Davis’ first team, the 2004-05 squad, won the U.S. Intercollegiate championship in Women’s Recurve, Columbia’s first-ever national title. Overall, Davis has coached five recurve teams to gold medal finishes and one compound team – 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015.
Last season, the U.S. Olympic Committee named him the 2014 National Coach of the year. The previous year Davis was awarded the DOC Counsilman “Science” award – which is awarded to a coach that utilizes scientific techniques/equipment as an integral part of their coaching method or has created innovative ways to use sports science.
During his tenure at Columbia, Davis has produced a number of All-American and All-East honorees, as well as a host of USA Archery All-Academic team members. The 2009 squad set a program record – the season saw a record number of Columbia archers earn All-East, All-Academic, and All-American honors. The 2015 squad later matched that record of All-Americans, with six earning that honor.
Davis has seen much success in the archery world outside of Morningside Heights. In January 2008, he was elected to the Board of Directors of USA Archery in a nationwide vote. That following May, he brought the Columbia team to the U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships, where it regained the Women’s Recurve national title that it had previously held in 2005. And in July of 2009, Davis served as Team Leader of the United States in the World University Archery Championships in Tainan, Chinese Taipei.
The latter was his second major international archery event. In June 2007, he was chosen as one of two coaches for a USA College Archery team in the 25th Battle of Carabobo, a world-ranking event in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela.
Davis came to Columbia in the fall of 2003 as an assistant to his long-time friend and fellow archer, Larry Brown. When Brown left in 2004, Davis was named to succeed him.
A native of Sherman, Texas, Davis began shooting in a physical education class in college. He has been active in the sport for more than 15 years, and is a member of USA Archery, both the National Archery Association and the National Alliance for the Development of Archery (NADA).
In 2006, Davis was named a Regional High Performance Coach, under the auspices of USA Archery’s High Performance Plan, and underwent intense training with Kisik Lee, USA Archery’s National Head Coach.
Davis studied communications and music at Hunter, and has been involved in jazz and pop music production. He is a freelance computer repair technician, specializing in Apple computers.
Davis lives in the Bronx. He has one son, Derek M. Davis II, who is a full-time archery instructor, assistant manager at Gotham Archery in Brooklyn and a competitive archer.