Greg Davis Jr., the longest tenured coach on the Green Wave's current staff, enters his 12th season as Tulane's running backs coach, but will begin his first campaign as offensive coordinator.
Davis also has the unique distinction of serving as the position coach for the top two running backs, top freshman running back and the top kicker in Tulane football history. All told, Davis has tutored four players to All-America status and three of those players have gone on to play in the NFL.
Since the 2000 season, Davis has worked with Mewelde Moore (2000-04) and Matt Forté (2004-07), and both players rank first and second on the school's career rushing list with 4,364 and 4,265 yards, respectively. Moore and Forté are currently flourishing on NFL rosters with Moore winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, while Forte was one of the top rookie running backs in the league in 2008.
In 2010 under Davis watchful eye, rookie running back Orleans Darkwa ran for a freshman record 925 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, the 10th-best single season effort in school history. Darkwa was the second-leading among Conference USA running backs and was named to the Freshman All-America third team. Tulane's ground game accounted for 127.5 yards per game and totaled 17 touchdowns on the year.
The 2009 season featured Tulane's second 1,000-yard rusher in the last three seasons, and the third under Davis' watch, as senior Andre Anderson, a two-time Doak Walker candidate, ran for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns to become the fourth player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. Another Tulane player who prospered under Davis was kicker Ross Thevenot, who completed his career with 222 kicking points, which ranked third among the school's all-time kickers.
In 2008, Davis set his sights on molding junior tailback Andre Anderson, the Green Wave's lone returning veteran player in the backfield, into a future record breaker. Anderson turned into Doak Walker Award candidate midway through the season and was well on his way to a 1,000-yard season with 864 yards on the ground through seven games before a season-ending injury shelved him the remainder of the season.
Under Davis' tutelage in 2007, Forté rushed for a school-record 2,127 yards, which ranked seventh among the NCAA's all-time single season rushing performances, and he capped his career off as the school's second-leading rusher, and the school record holder for rushing touchdowns (39), and yards per game (99.186). Forté, who owns seven of the school's top-13 single game rushing performances, including a 342-yard effort at SMU in 2007, was selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Forté followed in the footsteps of Moore, Tulane's career rushing leader, who set 24 school rushing and all-purpose records during his career and finished his tenure at Tulane as the top rusher in Conference USA history and a model student-athlete for the Wave.
In his additional role as coach of the Green Wave specialists, Davis has worked with one of the schools and C-USA top punters in Chris Beckman, a first-team all-league choice averaged more than 43 yards per punt during his career and finished his Tulane career in second place on the school's record chart for punting average.
Davis, 39, also sent Tulane all-time leading scorer and TU Hall of Fame kicker, Seth Marler, to the NFL in 2003. Marler kicked for the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie that season after winning the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best kicker in 2001. Davis welcomed rookie kicker Ross Thevenot to the Green Wave specialist corps in 2006. Thevenot earned the starting job and has played in every game and scored 173 points over the past three seasons, and is a candidate for All-America honors in 2009.
Davis came to Tulane from Alabama A&M, where he coached quarterbacks in 1999. He spent the 1998 season at the University of Texas as a quality control coach. In his year at Texas, the Longhorns won the Cotton Bowl. At North Carolina in 1996 and `97, Davis worked with the defensive backs on a pair of Gator Bowl championship squads.
Davis' name is familiar to Tulane fans as his father, Greg Davis Sr., is a former Green Wave head coach (1988-91) and was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Texas from 1998-2010.
A 1989 graduate of Grace King High School in Metairie, La., Davis attended Nicholls State University, where he was a student assistant coach. Upon graduating from NSU in 1994, he went to Southeast Missouri State University, where he spent two years coaching the wide receivers and kickers.
A member of the American Football Coaches Association, Davis is married to the former Karen Erbelding of Johnson Bayou, La. The couple has two daughters: Taylor Amanda (9) and Kaylen Dawn (6).