By Gary “Digital” Williams
A former HBO programming executive who negotiated some of the biggest boxing bouts in the sport’s history has been named the athletic director at Washington, DC’s Howard University. Kery Davis, 57, spent 14 years at HBO where he helped put together bouts featuring some of the biggest names in the boxing business, including Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Roy Jones, Jr.
Davis told the New York Post that Howard offered a very unique opportunity.
“I probably don’t do this job at any other place than Howard,” Davis said. “It was an opportunity to work at a school with a rich tradition and legacy people who are pioneers in the arts, in civil rights and in every other industry. People I looked up to growing up. So it struck a chord with me. It’s the right challenge at exactly the right time in my life.”
Davis added that he wants to see Howard, who competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), become more competitive.
University President Wayne A. Frederick is expected to make the formal announcement on Wednesday. Davis succeeds Shelley Davis who had served as interim athletic director since January after Louis “Skip” Perkins resigned to pursue other professional endeavors. This will be Davis’ first experience working in intercollegiate athletics. But he’s confident his diverse experiences have prepared him for the job.
“Everywhere I’ve been there has been a remarkable standard of excellence,” Davis said. “That’s the bar I want to achieve at Howard. I have experience managing budgets and a staff, and I have a tremendous amount of people I worked with in all aspects from arena operations to apparel. I hope to garner those resources that will help me in this endeavor.”
“We have to become more competitive across the board,” Davis said. “That’s number one. We also need to address how our student-athletes are performing on and off the field. I also want to look at facilities. I think a lot of things go hand-in-hand in attracting the kind of student-athletes we want to attract at this school.”