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2015 "The Harry's" (Photo by Lloydlee Heite)
UMES Athletics participates in Relay for Life on Sept. 19 at Perdue Stadium.
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See all the action from the awards to the wins on all three days.
Keith S. Davidson was named Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) on March 2, 2007.Then President Dr. Thelma B. Thompson announced his appointment at a press conference held in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.
Davidson had served as Acting Director of Athletics at UMES since January 2006. Previously, he was athletics Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
"Mr. Davidson was the unanimous selection of the President's Athletic Advisory Committee following a national search," said President Thompson. "I am confident he will improve UMES athletics, guiding a program that will compete for championships in all sports in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
Most recently, Davidson can be credited with arguably the best tenure in recent Hawks Athletic history.
Academically, Davidson's department has won four straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) graduation success rate awards for having the highest percentage of student-athletes graduating of any conference school. With that, his men's basketball team has the highest GSR of any Historically Black College of University (HBCU) in the nation and women's bowling has the highest team GPA of any program in the country. Recent graduate Megan Buja from women's bowling won a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and three straight NCAA Elite 89 awards, the highest academic award presented by the NCAA. Prior to her, fellow bowler Kristina Frahm earned the same awards once, giving Davidson three academic All-Americans and four Elite 89 recipients.
Athletically, the Hawks have won five National Championships, all in women's bowling, in his tenure and tallied 12 MEAC Championships between women's bowling, women's volleyball, men's cross country, women's cross country and women's indoor track & field . Since being appointed in 2006, UMES has been awarded 47 All-American selections. He also lobbied, successfully, for the induction of four former football greats into the College Football Hall of Fame. In the community, the Hawks have amplified their community service efforts, including championing such causes as The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, The Town of Princess Anne's clean-up project "Street Sweep" and holding Wee Hawk Youth Camps for the community, affecting more than 400 area youth each year. The effort in the community has paid off, as UMES has experienced attendance records in both women's volleyball (18th in the nation in 2012) and in women's basketball (top 100 in 2013-14).
Under his guidance in 2007-08 the Hawks captured the 2008 NCAA National Championship in Women's bowling. It is the first NCAA title in school history. They became the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ever win a women's national championship. The rest of his department also felt the success as they captured a total of four MEAC Championships (women's bowling, men & women's cross-country and women's indoor track & field). Two of his teams were also runners up to the MEAC title (volleyball and women's outdoor track and field). Because of that, the women's teams at UMES finished second in the conference's All-Sports Award.
Beyond wins and losses, the athletic department made several other leaps, including expanding the media relations staff, resurfacing the court in the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center twice, dedicating a top-notch women's bowling facility on campus, improvements to outdoor facilities such as baseball, softball and tennis and even adding a men's golf team to give UMES 15 Division I sports. He is also responsible for constructing a new area for academics, including a renovated study hall and restructuring of the division. His commitment to academics has kept the Hawks at or near the top in academic performance for HBCU schools.
When he first started, Davidson's impact was felt immediately by the University. In 2006-07 UMES captured its second straight MEAC Championship in Bowling and made it all the way to the finals of the NCAA Bowling Championship before losing to Vanderbilt University. With that appearance, UMES became just the fourth HBCU team to make it to a National Championship.
From September 2001 to May 2003, Davidson was the Compliance Officer at Texas Southern University. In that multifaceted position, he coordinated and organized all phases of the compliance program including NCAA Athletics Certification, secondary and major NCAA rules violations, initial and continuing eligibility, financial aid, recruitment, and letters of intent. He also authored the department's gender equity plan. Davidson was the Assistant Athletic Director for Student Affairs at the University at Buffalo from January 1995 to March 1997.
He graduated from Lincoln (Pa.) University in 1985 with a B.A. in history. He earned his M.A. in political science in 1989 from the University of Central Oklahoma. A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Davidson has one son, Drew (19) and resides in Berlin, Md.
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