Former KAYS broadcaster Bob Davis releases book co-authored by Hays native Bollig

Special to Hays Daily News
Bob Davis, former voice of the Fort Hays State Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks, is releasing a book chronicling his 48 years in broadcasting.

Bob Davis, 14-time Kansas Sportscaster-of-the-Year, has released a book chronicling his 48 years calling the action as the voice of the Fort Hays State Tigers, Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Royals.

The Dream is Real (My Life on the Airwaves) details how his broadcasting dream was sparked by watching 17-year-old Mickey Mantle play shortstop for the Class D Independence (Kan.) Yankees. He would drop out of law school to go to broadcasting school and after applying for more than 50 jobs in the Midwest, he landed as an afternoon disc jockey at KAYS radio in Hays. That began a nearly five-decade run of broadcasting excellence, culminating with his induction into the Kansas Broadcasters and Sports halls of fame.

His story is complemented with the contributions of more than 50 coaches, athletes, media peers, and friends who offer their memories of working with and/or listening to Davis.

"I figured after 50 years people had heard enough of me," Davis says. "But my friends said I needed to put the stories down on paper so the listeners could relive the experiences they enjoyed over time. Plus, it was fun to reconnect with so many people who were special in my life."

Among those contributing include CBS, TNT and Westwood One broadcaster Kevin Harlan, who wrote the foreward, and Wyatt Thompson, voice of the Kansas State Wildcats, who provided the afterword. Others who shared their stories include current Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self, former Jayhawk hoops coaches Larry Brown and Roy Williams, former Jayhawk football coaches Glen Mason and Mark Mangino, former Kansas City Royals Manager Tony Muser and player Mike Sweeney. Broadcasting peers include Kansas City Chiefs broadcast Mitch Holthus, CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz, Kansas City Royals announcers Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre, and a cast of characters from his days at KAYS radio in Hays including former co-workers Errol Wuertz and Dave Armstrong, former Fort Hays State basketball coaches Chuck Brehm, Joe Rosado and Bill Morse, and numerous others.

"I think fans will enjoy the book because they will learn a little bit about the evolution of broadcasting, take a peek behind the scenes stories, and hopefully get a chuckle from our hijinks on the road," Davis says.

Davis wrote the book along with long-time friend Jeff Bollig, a native of Hays and former Kansas athletics and Big Eight Conference media relations director. Bollig has also co-authored books Beware of the Phog: 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouseand What it Means to be a Jayhawk.

Availability: Online at www.BobDavisTheDreamIsReal.comor, and at select Dillons Food Stores by December 22 in Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita, Derby, Andover, Hutchinson, Hays, coming soon to Rally House stores and at various other online and bricks and mortar outlets. (Suggested retail price is $22.95).

Dillons Stores:

- Hays: 27th & Hall / Vine Street

- Lawrence: 23rd Street / 6th & Wakarusa / 6th & Lawrence / Massachusetts Street

- Topeka: 800 NW 25th / 6829 SW 29th / 3020 SE 29th / 5311 SW 22nd Place

- Derby: 1624 N Rock Rd

- Andover: 225 E Cloud Ave

- Wichita: 10222 W 21st / 7707 E Central Ave

- Hutchinson: 3200 Plaza E Dr

Ryan Lefebvre, Royals Broadcaster: “The first thing that stands out about Bob is the voice. It’s so powerful and classic. When he spoke, you could feel your ribs vibrate. That is how powerful it was.”

Bill Self, Kansas Basketball Coach: “Bob is excellence. He’s the best I have heard. But he is even a better person than he was a broadcaster.”

Kevin Harlan, CBS, TNT, Westwood One Broadcaster: “Bob has the most unique crescendo of a big call that I have ever heard. But because he is a Kansan, a product of the Midwest, his delivery is warm and folksy.”

Danny Manning, Kansas basketball letterwinner, 1985-88: I remember as a player going to our basketball banquets and being amazed at how good Bob was. He was the emcee. He did it so smoothly, with great humor and personality. And then, when they played the highlight film, they used clips of his broadcasts over the footage. I was thinking, how does he know to say the right thing at the right time all the time? I can see why fans enjoyed listening to him.

About the Authors

Bob Davis

Bob Davis is a member of the Kansas Sports and Kansas Broadcasters halls of fame, recognizing his 48 years of broadcast excellence. A native of Iola, has also lived in Independence, Manhattan, Topeka, Hays and Lawrence. His travels and voice have taken him to all 105 counties of the Sunflower State and around the world.

Jeff Bollig

Jeff Bollig is a native of Hays. He attended Fort Hays State and graduated from the University of Kansas. He has has co-authored two other books: Beware of the Phog - 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse and What it Means to be a Jayhawk. He has listened to every year of Bob Davis’s career as a broadcaster.