FAMU football’s special team’s coordinator Chili Davis will represent the institution by presenting at the 2023 American Football Coaches Association convention.
By Gerald Thomas III
(Source Tallahassee Democrat):
Florida A&M football’s special teams coordinator Chili Davis has been selected to deliver a presentation at the 2023 American Football Coaches’ Association convention following his first season with the Rattlers.
Davis, from Chester, Virginia, has been a member of the AFCA since joining the coaching ranks at his alma mater Campbell University in 2012.
The convention will take place from Jan. 8-10 in Charlotte, North Carolina and will feature coaches from all divisions of college football and high school coaches.
“I’m super excited to be able to speak at the convention and share my knowledge and experiences,” Davis said. “I’ve been blessed by the convention for many years and I hope this blesses someone to help them out to have better special teams units.”
FAMU head coach Willie Simmons and the rest of his staff will also be present as the AFCA will help 0football play callers with professional development.
Simmons, also a member of the FCS Coaches’ Committee, has presented at the AFCA convention in past years also.
“I’m very excited for Chili to be able to go up and present at the AFCA ― it’s a huge accomplishment,” Simmons said. “The work that he’s done this year has been nothing short of amazing.
“To have Power 5, group of five, all the way down to NAIA coaches hear him present to talk about special teams and how passionate he is about it is a great opportunity for (Chili) and our brand.
“It helps people know that we have quality coaches here on the Highest of Seven Hills.”
Davis to explain his coaching philosophy and rise coaching ladder
Prior to FAMU, Davis had stints coaching at Campbell, Louisiana Tech, Fordham, New Mexico State, and Washington.
Most notably, he helped Louisiana Tech win the 2015 New Orleans Bowl as an offensive assistant with running backs. Two years later, he won the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl in the 2017 season with New Mexico State to end their 57-year bowl drought as the team’s wide receiver’s coach.
Davis was hired last May following spring training camp to oversee the Rattlers’ special team’s unit for the 2022 football season.
“I’m going to talk about my background and places I’ve been,” he said. “I learned so much from every stop — whether if it was how we did things as a program or the positions that I coached ― all those have played a big part into the coach that I am today.
“It’s wise that you bring everything that you’ve experienced along with you on your journey. I’m definitely going to carry a lot of the things that I’ve learned and been a part of at other places ― not only to this presentation, but to my career as well.”
In his first year with FAMU, Davis produced two all-conference under his tutelage with punter Chris Faddoul and kicker Jose Romo-Martinez both being named to the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s first team this past year.
Both were also named to BOXTOROW HBCU All-American team as Faddoul led the SWAC in punting average (43 yards per attempt) and Romo-Martinez led the conference with 17 made field goal attempts.
Davis plans to introduce his approach to lead FAMU’s striving special teams’ unit.
“I’ve put some thought into it and got a presentation in line,” he said. “I’m looking forward to showing the guys what our special team’s philosophy is and some organizational things. Then, I’m going to get into some film and drills to show how we develop our guys here at FAMU.”
A great deal of pride for special teams and FAMU to be on full display
From a player to a coach, special teams have been good to Davis.
Davis primary positions were running back and defensive back while playing college football at Campbell. His Swiss army knife skillset allowed him to be a regular on the Camels’ special teams unit.
Those days on special teams has allowed him to put his flare on the Rattlers and be recognized nationally as he takes center stage before the AFCA.
“I have a lot of pride and enthusiasm when it comes to special teams,” Davis said. “It was a big part of my playing career and it’s been a big part of my coaching career as well.
“I just love developing specialists along with every other member of the team. It is a tight-knit community that we have as special teams’ coaches, and we know that it’s important to develop every player and look forward to doing that.”
With FAMU being the latest chapter in his coaching career, all Davis wants to do is represent the institution and the football program correctly.
And that’s the part that makes him the proudest of being FAMU’s spokesperson and special teamers nationwide beginning Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to putting on for the Rattlers,” Davis said. “I know how much this means to the players because they reached out to me saying congratulations because we know how much we’ve put into this as coaches and as players.
“To have that support and being able to represent this great school and program really means a lot to me.”
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