I wrote and delivered the following tribute to the late Bill Davis at halftime of the game against Ludlowe. The Warde field was named in honor of Davis and Fern Tetreau, Andrew Warde High School's first two football coaches, Thanksgiving morning.
Tom Davis, brother of the late Bill Davis, accepts a plaque and proclamation during the field dedication ceremonies.
For nearly two decades, Bill Davis represented Andrew Warde High School as a student, teacher, assistant coach, and coach. Although he was born in Milford, he grew up in Fairfield, where he played Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion baseball.
At Andrew Warde, he played varsity baseball, basketball, and football. He was the captain of Bob Jackson's varsity baseball team in 1965. He played football under Fern Tetreau from 1963 to 1965, and he was captain of the gridiron squad his senior year.
After graduation, he played football at Springfield College. He returned to Warde in the Fall of 1969 when he served as an assistant to Tetreau on the football coaching staff. One year later, Davis became only the second head football coach at Andrew Warde, where he led the Crimson Eagles for a decade.
Bill Davis legacy became well-established over those ten years. Harry Caston played for him in the early 70s, and he said Davis' influence and impact helped him along the way.
Coston said, "To me, it's the lessons that we learn along the way that give our life direction, meaning, and value, that we remember. It was Coach Davis and the things that he did which have provided me with many of the core values and lessons that I treasure. I gratefully acknowledge that I would not have the life that I have enjoyed if not for his belief in me and the chances that he gave me."
Younger brother Tom Davis, who was instrumental in getting the field named after his brother and Fern Tetreau, was influenced by Bill. In fact, Tom played for Bill for three years. And the Davis brothers --- Bill, Tom, Jon, and Bob --- all played for Fern. The Davis and Tetreau families remain close. Fern served as Bill's "best man" at his wedding.
One of Bill's most memorable years was 1975, when his Crimson Eagles defeated Roger Ludlowe twice on the gridiron in the same year, marking the only time that feat has ever been accomplished in Fairfield.
Bill Davis' resume is impressive. He gave much of his life to Andrew Warde High School. He was the Eagles' boys and girls track and field coach, wrestling coach, where he started the program, and lacrosse coach.
In addition to his legacy at Warde, Bill was assistant principal at Tomlinson Middle School, Assistant to the Superintendent for the Fairfield Public Schools, administrator for curriculum in Wilton, Superintendent of Schools in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for four other schoool districts. And, believe me, I can go on and on.
Sadly, Bill Davis passed away in June of this year. His memory, though, will live on at Warde. In fact, his niece, Allie, plays soccer here, and she'll be playing on her uncle's field.
Warde athletic director Chris Manfredonia would like to present Bill's brother, Tom, with a plaque. Let's have a warm, hearty Fairfield Warde welcome for Tom Davis and the Davis family.