Bill Davis
Personal information
Date of birth (1965-11-05) November 5, 1965 (age 54)
Place of birth Youngstown, Ohio
Career information
Position(s) Defensive Coordinator
College Cincinnati
Team(s) as a coach/administrator










Michigan State
(graduate assistant)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(defensive assistant)
Carolina Panthers
(outside linebackers)
Cleveland Browns
(defensive assistant/LB)
Green Bay Packers
(defensive assistant/DL)
Atlanta Falcons
(LB coach)
New York Giants
(LB coach)
San Francisco 49ers
(defensive coordinator)
Arizona Cardinals
(LB coach)
Arizona Cardinals
(defensive coordinator)
Cleveland Browns
(LB coach)

Billy Davis (born November 5, 1965 in Youngstown, Ohio) is an American football coach in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns. He is the linebackers coach. He previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. He was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers from 2005 through 2006.


Early life[edit | edit source]

Billy Davis was born on November 5, 1965 in Youngstown, Ohio.[1] His father, Bill Davis, coached in the NFL for 13 years, included the six years he was the Cleveland Browns’ vice president of player personnel.[1] As a kid, Davis was hired to be a ball boy for Dick Vermeil in Philadelphia and Don Shula in Miami.[1]

College years[edit | edit source]

Davis attended the University of Cincinnati and was a quarterback and wide receiver on the football team from 1985 to 1988.[1][2]

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Michigan State[edit | edit source]

Davis began his football coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Michigan State Spartans.[1]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit | edit source]

In 1992, Davis entered the NFL as the defensive assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For most of his football career, Davis had played and coached on the offensive side of the ball, but under head coach Bill Cowher, Davis coached the Pittsburgh defense for three years.[1]

Carolina Panthers[edit | edit source]

In 1995, under coach Dom Capers, Davis spent four years with the newly created Carolina Panthers. In his second year with Carolina, linebacker Kevin Greene finished first in the NFL in sacks with 14.5, and Lamar Lathon finished second in the NFL in with sacks with 13.5. Both linebackers went to the Pro Bowl that year.[1]

Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

In 1999, Davis spent a year as a defensive assistant and linebackers coach with the Cleveland Browns.[1]

Green Bay Packers[edit | edit source]

In 2000, Davis went the Green Bay Packers were he spent the year as a defensive assistant and line coach.[1]

Atlanta Falcons[edit | edit source]

Davis the went to the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, were he spent the next three seasons as the linebackers coach under Dan Reeves. Davis helped then defensive coordinator Wade Phillips implement his new 3-4 defense. During Davis' three years at Atlanta, linebacker Keith Brooking went to the Pro Bowl each year.[1]

New York Giants[edit | edit source]

Davis was the New York Giants linebackers coach in 2004. According to defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, Billy commanded the room whenever speaking to players and compiled blitz packages, a job usually done by the defensive coordinator.[3]

San Francisco 49ers[edit | edit source]

On February 6, 2005, Billy Davis was hired by San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan to be the defensive coordinator on the team after a six hour interview.[2][4] One of the reasons Davis got the job was because he had experience with the 3-4 defense that Coach Nolan wanted to implement in San Francisco's defense and a recommendation Nolan got from New York Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis.[2][3]

2005 Season[edit | edit source]

However, Davis seemed to have difficulty improving the defense. In his first season as the 49ers defensive coordinator, the team ranked last in the NFL in total defense in 2005, averaging 25.8 points a game, a 44.4 % third-down efficiency, and allowing 428 points that season.[5][6]

2006 Season[edit | edit source]

In 2006, Davis' defense was ranked 26th in the NFL.[4] Monte Poole of the Oakland Tribune criticized Davis in October, saying "the defensive coordinator Billy Davis, who drifts between the 4-3 scheme and the 3-4 scheme, not only has been incapable of masking these deficiencies but also seems to find ways to accentuate them."[7]

As soon as early November, rumors began to swirl that Davis could be fired at the end of the season, if not earlier.[8]

Although the second half of the season saw strong performances from cornerback Walt Harris and linebacker Brandon Moore, by the end of the season, the 49ers defense had allowed 412 points in 16 games.[6]

On January 3, 2007, Nolan announced the Davis had been fired stating that "After an evaluation period, we felt this was the right time to make this move".[4] He was replaced by San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Greg Manusky.[9]

Arizona Cardinals[edit | edit source]

On January 19, 2007, just 15 days after he was fired from the 49ers, Davis was hired as the linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals.[1] On February 18, 2009, Davis was named the team's defensive coordinator after former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast was fired. Davis was let go after the 2010 season after the Cardinals' poor performance on defense which ranked 31st against the pass, 32nd against the run and 31st overall.

Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

On January 31, 2011 it was announced that Davis was hired as the linebackers coach.[10]

Personal[edit | edit source]

Billy Davis lives with his wife, Sherry, and five children: Monica, Brooke, twins Grace and Ava and son Billy.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Arizona Cardinals. Bill Davis Retrieved on 2008-03-25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USA Today. Niners hire Billy Davis as defensive coordinator Retrieved on 2008-03-26 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "USAToday" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 SFGate. 49ers hire Davis as defensive coordinator. Retrieved on 2008-03-26
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Press Democrat. Billy Davis fired as defensive coordinator. Retrieved on 2008-03-25.
  5. 49ers Web Zone. Fielding a defense. Retrieved on 2008-03-26.
  6. 6.0 6.1 USA Today. Niners fire defensive coordinator Davis, line coach Emanuel. Retrieved on 2008-03-27
  7. Oakland Tribune. 49ers coach Davis has to go Woeful 49ers 'D' means coach Davis has. Retrieved on 2008-03-26
  8. RealFootball365. Singletary should be 49ers' next defensive coordinator. Retrieved on 2008-03-27
  9. ESPN. Niners name Manusky defensive coordinator. Retrieved on 2008-03-26

External links[edit | edit source]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Willy Robinson
San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Greg Manusky
Preceded by
Clancy Pendergast
Arizona Cardinals Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
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