‘Blessed’: ESPN ‘College GameDay’ Host Rece Davis Still Grateful for His Christian Upbringing

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Rece Davis, the host of ESPN’s College GameDay, recently told the Sports Spectrum podcast he was really fortunate that he grew up in a Christian home where faith, Bible study, and attending church was constant.

“I remember when I was a kid, we read the Bible as a family every night,” Davis said. “”I would be wanting to watch Monday Night Football, at least for a while until I had to go to bed. And I couldn’t – we didn’t do that until we had done our devotional that night.”

Davis, 57, graduated from the University of Alabama. He worked at television stations in Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan before joining ESPN in March of 1995. He reported on sports news and scores as the host of several programs on the sports network, including anchoring Sportscenter. In February 2015, ESPN announced Davis would be the host of the “College GameDay” show, traveling around the country. 

slider img 2Davis told podcast producer Jason Romano that his father served as a deacon at the local Church of Christ in his hometown, and said his parents modeled examples of faith to him from the time he was born. 

“As a deacon, his role was basically to serve,” he said. “Whether that meant driving a church bus, going to visit, or taking care of things for people who needed it, I saw this model and example by my parents from the time I was born, so I was blessed in that regard.”

“But there’s always that moment when you realize that your faith doesn’t get grandfathered. I was baptized when I was 13 going on 14 and stayed active,” Davis recalled. 

The College GameDay host said it was when he went to college that he realized people are watching you. 

“People are watching you – regardless of your station in life, they’ll notice how you treat them. And it will reflect upon what you say you are,” he explained. “… There might be someone listening who says, ‘Well, I can give you 15 examples of where Rece Davis wasn’t what he says he is’ – and they would probably be right about that. But it’s something that you continually strive to do.”

“To be honest, I have many, many moments of repentance over the course of my faith,” Davis told Romano. “But I don’t have the story that many people have that are so inspirational that they didn’t know the Lord at all.  I basically came out of the womb being taught that and I’m so grateful for that.”

He said the one thing he’s discovered as he’s gotten older is Satan is going to use any kind of challenge against you. 

“You can take that for granted too,” Davis continued. “I feel like that mine is more of a story of constantly trying to repent and get it right.” 

When asked if he found himself wrestling with his broadcasting career and at the same time, trying to be a good ambassador for Christ, knowing thousands of people are watching, the ESPN host admitted that with all the financial blessings and the notoriety that comes with the job, “I think one of the things you wrestle with is making sure you stay grounded.”

“I struck up a conversation with a man in a waiting room several months back,” Davis recalled. “He made the comment, ‘You know that everything that all of these people out here are striving for, we’re all just renting it. We gonna give it all back.'”

“It’s one of those things you’re constantly reminding yourself of,” he said. 

“I’ve been blessed to have a couple of guys that I’ve worked with that are just tremendous men of God and influences,” Davis explained, mentioning Hubert Davis, David Pollack, LaPhonso Ellis, producer Jonathan Wiley, and Kirk Herbstreit. He and his five friends are often texting back and forth – “checking on each other, challenging each other.”

“Having people like that around you, it helps keep things in the proper perspective, and doesn’t allow you to drift too far because you’re all there for each other,” he said. 

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