Photo of Mike Davis '82 courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – During halftime of its game against Princeton last month, the Harvard men’s lacrosse team took a moment to announce a new award in the honor of a former member of the team.
In March 2009, the Harvard lacrosse community lost Mike Davis ’82, a captain of the 1982 lacrosse team. Teammates of Mike, with the support of the Friends of Harvard Lacrosse, coaches, and the Athletic Department, established an award in Mike’s honor.
Mike Davis was an outstanding player, teammate, and scholar. Along with his excellence on the lacrosse field, he graduated magna cum laude and was selected as the Scholar-Athlete for the entire Harvard Athletic program. In recognition of Mike’s leadership qualities both on and off the field, the new award reads as follows:
The Mike Davis Award for Leadership
Presented to the outstanding leader of the Harvard men’s varsity lacrosse team. In memory of Michael H. Davis ’82, whose dedication, passion, toughness, and regard for his teammates left a lasting impression on those who played with him.
“We are honored to be able to present the Mike Davis ’82 Award for Leadership to one our players every year,” said John Tillman, the Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Lacrosse. “Mike was truly special and his teammates' desire to make this award a reality is testament to the type of person, teammate and leader that he was. He left a lasting impression on those he touched during his lifetime. I want to thank everyone who helped make this award a reality, especially Brian Edmonds, Chris Esmonde, Rich Doyle, Norm Forbush, Sheri Norred and Bob Scalise.”
During his playing career with the Crimson, Davis, a midfielder from 1979-82, was a two-time All-Ivy League honoree. As a sophomore in 1980, he scored a career-high 22 goals and handed out eight assists for 30 points. Two years later, Davis netted 15 scores and dished out eight assists for 23 points. For his career, he scored 49 goals and added 21 assists for 70 points.
During his sophomore season, Davis helped Harvard post an 11-3 record and win the Ivy League title for the first time in 16 years. During the season, the Crimson which was coached by Bob Scalise, Harvard’s Nichols Family Director of Athletics, earned a key win over three-time national champion Cornell. The Crimson also named New England (NEILA) champion and the squad’s regular-season efforts were rewarded with Harvard’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. The team’s ranking of seventh in the nation still rates as one of the highest of any Harvard lacrosse team.
Prior to Harvard, Davis attended the Gilman School in Baltimore, Md., where he excelled in football and lacrosse and became interested in politics. He graduated from the Maryland Law School and went on to a career in politics and law in Maryland. He successfully led several of former Senator Paul Sarbanes’ re-election campaigns and was a well respected political figure in Maryland. He was working at the Venable law firm when he died.