- Mulford Davis
- Hometown (Last School)
- Elwood, IN (High)
- 1942-43, 1945-46, 1946-47
- February 10, 1921
Obituary – Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home
Mulford R. “Muff” Davis, age 99 of Frankton, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Community Hospital in Anderson from Covid-19, but a long, well-lived life. He was born February 10, 1921 in Orestes, the son of Charles R. and Fannie M. (White) Davis. Muff was a 1939 graduate of Elwood High School and later graduated from the University of Kentucky where he received a full basketball scholarship. In college, he played basketball for legendary coach, Adolf Rupp. His college years were interrupted by World War II as he proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. Muff was known as an accomplished basketball player and remained a sports fan all of his life – especially the sport of basketball. He married Martha L. Myers on September 7, 1946, and they shared 74 years of marriage together. Muff and Martha lived in Frankton where they raised their family and were active in the community. Muff retired in 1976 as the Principal of Highland High School in Anderson after 12 years in the position. He also formerly taught history and drivers education at Frankton High School for many years. While working at Frankton High School, he was honored to serve as head basketball coach at the school for 15 years in addition to coaching track, cross-country, and baseball. Muff was a devoted member of the Frankton Christian Church where he served in many capacities. He was also a charter member of the Frankton Lions Club. Muff was honored to be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989. His dedication to teaching and coaching impacted the lives of countless students and athletes during his career, and he was blessed to stay in contact with many students through the years. Muff will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Muff’s family legacy includes his wife, Martha Davis; son, Phil (wife Tami) Davis of Alexandria; daughter, Deb Davis (husband Paul Nailor) both of Hamilton; 5 grandchildren, Jeff Davis, Brian Davis, Lindsay Gossett, Kathleen Brian, and Elizabeth Kissinger; 3 step-grandchildren, Tara Flack, Kristian Nailor, Trisha Mupfudze; and several great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Muff was preceded in death by both his parents; two brothers, King Davis and Sherman Davis; and daughter-in-law, Ava Campbell Davis.
Cremation will take place, and services will be conducted at a later date in 2021 at the Elwood City Cemetery with military honors by the U.S. Army and Elwood V.F.W. honor guard. Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood has been entrusted with Muff’s funeral arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the Frankton High School Athletic Department through the funeral home – P.O. Box 20, Elwood, IN 46036. Online condolences and memories may be shared at copherfeslermay.com.
Former hoops coach Mulford Davis, a Frankton lifer – The Herald Bulletin (July 28, 2019) by Dylan Trimpe
Frankton basketball has been one of the pillars of success in Madison County over the last several years.
Since 2012, the teams have won four sectionals, three regional titles, two semistate crowns and capped it with the 2017 IHSAA Class 2A State Championship.
Yet, when you think about Frankton Eagles basketball, another name should pop to mind and that’s former coach Mulford “Muff” Davis.
Davis coached for 15 years at Frankton High School from 1948-63, winning 139 games, before moving on to be the principal at Highland High School. He refers often to a game between the Eagles and Scots while his son, Phil, played for Frankton and was pleased to see his old team beat his new one.
“I was happy to see (Frankton) win,” Davis said. “But I had to be as sad as all sadness can be because I was the principal at Highland.”
Davis also coached cross country, baseball and track during his time at Frankton.
In 1989, Davis was selected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame for his heroics on and off the basketball court and is the oldest member of the organization.
At Elwood High School, where he graduated in 1941, he was the Central Indiana Conference’s leading scorer for three years and held the junior high record for points in a single game with 51. It’s a moment he remembers because of the “state headlines” he received in the days that followed the feat.
He was a member of the 1941 Indiana Basketball All-Star Team, the first selection for Elwood, after being the program’s leading scorer for all four years.
After his high school playing days, Davis moved on to play for Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky for three varsity seasons, playing in the NCAA tournament and helping the Wildcats to consecutive conference titles.
He then joined the military for two years where he saw North Africa, Italy and France as an Army infantryman. He would later return to Lexington to finish his master’s degree before taking the Frankton job.
His children didn’t follow in his footsteps in attending the big blue university, instead opting for Indiana and Purdue Universities. He notes game days where the two schools were playing each other used to get heated but they’ve calmed down over the years.
With so much red and white, and black and gold in their hearts, neither of his children had any interest in learning about their father’s university.
“I used to set some books about Kentucky on the table but they didn’t ever grab any of that propaganda,” Davis said jokingly.
Davis was later named to Kentucky’s 1966 Silver Anniversary Team.
Now, Davis, 98, still lives independently in his home he built in 1949 that sits within walking distance of the high school. After spending his college-aged years abroad, Davis had always wanted to be back in Madison County and closer to his family.
His house was in such close proximity to the school so he didn’t have to go too far for games.
These days, Davis doesn’t attend too many high school basketball games, citing the cold weather being too much for him during the winter season and would rather spend time by the fireplace. He’s been back for a few games when the high school honored him for his accomplishments and remarks at how much faster the game is played.
He doesn’t take in as much basketball as he used to either, though he’ll tell you he doesn’t like to watch much professional basketball. He does, however, find time to watch the Ball State University men’s team whenever they’re on TV but gets all of his information the old-fashioned way.
Davis reflected on the sportswriters he used to talk to over his career and how much he appreciated the fair coverage he received about himself or the teams he coached.
“I had a good career,” he said. “It was full of good people that supported me.”