Sport Management Professor Writes and Produces ESPN Documentary '51 Dons
The documentary film '51 Dons, released this past February 9th and aired repeatedly this month on ESPN, was made possible by USF Sport Management adjunct professor Tom Davis. As the president of the sports and entertainment media firm Caught Looking, Inc., storytelling is Davis' forte. Having taught classes such as "The Business of Sports Media" in the Sport Management Master's Program since 2008, Davis was the perfect person to write and produce '51 Dons.
In 1951, the undefeated Dons' were set to make their first-ever bowl appearance under one condition--they take the field without their two African-American stars, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler. The Dons refused. This one-hour documentary, narrated by legendary singer Johnny Mathis, a childhood friend of Ollie Matson and Burl Toler, tells the true story of a band of brothers who stood together, refusing to allow racism to do what no opponent could--beat the Dons.
In addition to this recent project, Davis has served as the vice president of Loma Media, managed strategic marketing for DIRECTV and the UCLA Sports Network, and even worked as an assistant athletic director at Marquette early in his career. Nonetheless, Davis still makes time to enrich USF's Sport Management Program and share his hard-earned wisdom with aspiring students.