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Ritchie Davis graduated from UW-Superior with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Coaching. While attending UW-Superior, Davis also played basketball and baseball, and worked for Athletics. He utilized his opportunity within the Athletics department to learn from the coaching staff for each team. He credits his experience as a student athlete to shaping his goals and vision for his future career.
Davis is the Executive Director and Head Coach for Wisconsin Playground Warriors, an organization that assists in the development of youth basketball players. His responsibilities include recruiting student athletes, providing academic services to enrolled players, assisting the athletes in achieving full athletic scholarships to NCAA Division I or II programs, manages game and practice schedules, and fosters relationships with coaches across the country.
Davis started his career in sports, while still in high school. During his senior year, he began working for the Wisconsin Amateur Athletic Union in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He worked as an Assistant to the President for five years, where he says he learned and developed important leadership skills.
When asked what students should know if they want to get into coaching or athletics, Davis explained that "It is essential that he/she is willing to put in lots of hours working and learning from quality people. I can honestly say that I put in 60 hours per week, while still complete my required coursework as an undergrad." He also states that a bachelor's degree, preferably in a business-related area, is the minimum for getting into the field. Another recommendation is to pursue a coaching minor, if that is a possibility and to become a member of professional organizations in order to build new relationships with people who can help you after you graduate.
When it comes to skills, Davis mentioned that it is important for someone entering the field of athletics to be able to communicate effectively with a variety of different people. Davis believes that athletics is generally a people industry, so the more people you know, the better it will be when you begin to explore opportunities. Relationships with key individuals can enhance an individual's ability to be successful in their career as well.
Getting involved on campus as a student can also improve one's chances of entering the field upon graduation. Davis was involved in Phi Beta Lambda as a student, which was the primary organization for students studying Business Education. Gaining experience as a student, whether through a student organization, on-campus employment, or volunteering in the community, is a great way for students to make themselves more marketable.
When asked what the best advice he received, Davis stated, "The best piece of advice that I ever received was from Daniel Lounsbury who was the head football coach at UW-Superior during the 1991 and 1992 seasons. Coach Lounsbury shared so many of his ideas openly with me and allowed me to pick his brain and learn from him during the
entire time he was UWS. Coach Lounsbury is now coaching at Texas A&M Commerce."
The piece of advice Davis would give to students is "to get involved and to seek out individuals that are very successful in the business. There is a reason why these people are successful so try to spend as much time with these individuals as possible."
Ritchie Davis was interviewed as a part of the Career Services Day in the Life project. His full interview and those of other UW-Superior alumni can be found on the Day in the Life website, http://www.uwsuper.edu/career/students/a-day-in-the-life.cfm.
Interview conducted by Jessica Schlauderaff on April 27, 2012. Article written by Shannon Gilligan.
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