There are few figures in American collegiate archery better known than Columbia head coach Derek Davis. In just six years as a college head coach, Davis has lifted his profile, and those of his student-athletes, to the highest levels.
Each year under his tutelage the program has reached new heights. The 2009 squad set a number of program records – the season saw a record number of Columbia archers earn All-East, All-Academic, and All-American honors. During his six years at Columbia, 28 of his student-athletes have earned All-East recognition to go along with an impressive 23 All-Americans. In 2009, he coached the Lions to two team medals and three individual winners at the National Championships. The recurve team won silver while the compound team took home bronze, the first time ever the compound team has medaled at the National Championships. Columbia also swept the Indoor National East Regional, marking the first time the Lions’ compound team has won gold.
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, 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’ first team, the 2004-05 squad, won the U.S. Intercollegiate championship in Women’s Recurve, Columbia’s first national title. His 2006-07 team went all the way to the Recurve championship match before losing to Stanford by just four points. He has produced a number of All-American and All-East honorees, as well as a host of USA Archery All-Academic team members. One of his archers, Nasreen Bakht, was awarded the Golden Arrow at the 2005 U.S. Intercollegiate Championships.
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 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 Far Rockaway, Queens. He has one son, Derek M. Davis II, also a competitive archer.