December 6, 2008
The Tigerbelle that I had the privilege of interviewing was Ernestine Davis. Ernestine Davis is from Tampa, Florida and attended Tennessee State University from 1978 to 1982. Coach Cheese persuaded Davis to come to TSU. Ernestine came second to Coach Cheese in the 100 and the 200 at their high school state meet, however Ernestine Davis came back to win the 400 meter dash. Coach Temple admired this and moved forward with the recruiting process with Davis.
Ernestine Davis then began to run for Coach Temple. She described Coach Temple as hard, but a good person. She said that running for him was a learning experience that taught her life lessons. Ernestine claims that Coach Temple had a “my way or the high way” attitude. Ms. Davis let me know that when running for Coach Temple, you were living under a microscope. She also stated that he was very fair and very to the point. He never cut corners or sugar coated anything. After scanning her brain for about three minutes she finally said that he was just the type of person that you either loved or hated. Ms. Davis also told me that she thinks that Coach Cheese’s coaching style resembles Coach Temple’s however I had to disagree once she told me how they had to run up hills with weights around their ankles. She also told me that they would run up the hills cursing Coach Temple out.
Ernestine Davis’ specialty was the 400 meter dash where she thinks her personal best was around 53 seconds. Her career experiences that are prevalent in her mind are winning the indoor national championship in New York at Madison Square Garden with just herself, Coach Cheese, and 2 other young ladies. She said that Coach Cheese ran the 60, and that they won every relay with just the four of them. Another memory that she has is winning Penn Relays with just four girls.
Ernestine Davis now lives in Atlanta, Georgia and gave many words of encouragement for the current...