Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bill "Bull" Davidson, (ca. 1935 - 1999), was head football coach and associate athletic director at Arkansas State University in the 1970s. He is a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and coached his small college team to a perfect season during its first year at the Division I level.
Bill Davidson amassed a 51-32-1 record as head coach of the Arkansas State Indians football team from 1971 to 1978. This record included a perfect 11-0 season in 1975. Davidson also participated in an 11-0 perfect season as an assistant coach in 1970, a year before taking the head coaching position. ASU's record with Davidson as an assistant coach from 1963-1970 was 52-20-4. Davidson coached 11 All-Americans during his tenure.
Davidson attended high school at Manila, Arkansas where he played baseball and basketball since Manila did not have a football team at the time. In 1953 he enrolled at Arkansas State and went out for the football team. During his career as a player he lettered three times as a center and linebacker.
After college Davidson coached high school football and earned a 28-7 record at Earle, Arkansas from 1957 to 1959 and a 28-5-1 record at Jonesboro, Arkansas from 1960 to 1962. He took the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach positions at ASU in 1963.
After the 1970 perfect season head coach Bennie Ellender left for Tulane University and Davidson was promoted. During Davidson's tenure ASU gained a reputation as a physically tough and intimidating team. In 1975 ASU moved to NCAA Division I and dominated all eleven teams they faced that year by a combined score of 355-81. Davidson's team trailed only twice after half-time the entire year and never in the fourth quarter. ASU led the nation in rushing that year at 340.5 yards per game and ranked in the national top ten in seven defensive categories. Davidson's team took 13 of 22 slots on the Southland Conference's all conference team. Nearly 20 of Davidson's players from the 1975 perfect team were signed by NFL teams. Davidson earned the Southland Conference Coach of the Year that year and the team established the nation's longest winning streak (15 games) at the time. The 1975 season was almost unimaginable for a small college in its first year at the Division I level.
Davidson retired as Arkansas State head coach in 1978 due to health problems. Davidson earned the Southland Conference Coach of the Year trophy again in his last year. Davidson returned to work in the 1980s when he served as an associate athletic director for the school.
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