Rece Davis is a staple on ESPN‘s College GameDay football TV show every Saturday morning. Since taking over for Chris Fowler in 2015, the host has had a blast alongside the likes of Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Maria Taylor.
Davis’s previous work has extended beyond the three-hour morning program, however. He’s starred on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and has covered college basketball, horse racing, and the FIFA World Cup for ESPN and ABC.
The 54-year-old sports media personality is signed with ESPN through 2021, which means NCAA fans can expect to see a lot more of Davis every weekend of the college football season. We know a little about the personal lives of these GameDay hosts and analysts, like how Herbstreit and his wife attended Ohio State, and it turns out Rece Davis’ family life is pretty interesting.
Who Is Rece Davis’ Wife Leigh Davis?
Rece Davis’ wife is Leigh Davis.
Born Leigh Langley, she grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and attended Columbus High School in 1979, per Heavy.com.
Their relationship is interesting because it’s a full-blown Iron Bowl household. Leigh graduated from Auburn University, while Rece attended the University of Alabama, where he began his sports broadcasting career as a play-by-play announcer and studio host before earning a reporter job for WCFT-TV in Tuscaloosa after college.
Rece hailed from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, before excelling as a student at the SEC school and earning his diploma from the school of communications in news and public affairs. He was named the 2001 outstanding alumnus by the school’s broadcast department, per ESPN.
How Did They Meet?
Rece and Leigh didn’t meet until they were working at the same TV station.
Leigh was working as a sales representative at CBS affiliate WRBL-TV in her hometown of Columbus when Rece was working as a sports reporter in the same newsroom. He told SB Nation that he had to come up with an excuse to meet his future wife: he didn’t know how to use the fax machine.
Rece was trying to submit a press credential for an Auburn game, which led to talking about Leigh’s alma mater. I’m sure there was some light banter between the SEC rival alumni, too.
The rest of their timeline is history.
Rece worked his way up the ladder at WRBL-TV, serving as the weekend news anchor and then sports director. He popped the question to Leigh a month before leaving the station for another opportunity for WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan.
Leigh was instrumental in helping Rece eventually make the jump to ESPN.
“I remember asking him what his goal was, and he told me he wanted to go to ESPN. And so I asked him, ‘Then why are we looking at all these other cities?'” Leigh told SB Nation.
“Because frankly I didn’t know what I was doing,” Rece said.Advertisement
Rece Davis joined ESPN in 1995 and began to make a home in Bristol, Connecticut. Throughout his career there, he worked for ESPN2’s SportSmash, NBA 2Night, RPM 2Night and then finally SportsCenter.
Who Are Their Children?
Rece and Leigh Davis have two children together.
Their son, Christopher Davis, played baseball at Princeton University. In 2017 during a game against the Maryland Terrapins, Chris collided with a player. While it seemed like a simple run-in at the time, Chris began experiencing pain in his side and bouts of dizziness, according to Sports Illustrated.
His spleen had ruptured.
The family rushed to a local hospital, who directed him to Washington Hospital Medical Center. After numerous scary hours, doctors decided to take out his spleen entirely.
“There are images from that night that I will probably never shake. Things my wife and daughter and I experienced that night that I’m not sure you’ll ever quite put to bed,” Rece told Sports Illustrated.
Chris worked his way back from the injury before playing the 2018 and 2019 seasons at the Ivy League school. He’s now listed on Duke’s roster.
Not much is known about the couple’s daughter, Elizabeth. Heavy.com writes that she has lived in New York City and is a fan of theater and acting.
In May 2019, the ESPN College GameDay host gave a Mother’s Day shoutout to his wife.
“Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who keeps our family going and is a rock for these two great kids. Always. Fortunately, she lets me come along with her. We love her so much! She pretty much authored the book on being a selfless, exemplary Mom,” he wrote on Instagram.
Rece Davis will continue to serve college football fans as one of ESPN’s top sports anchors and sports television journalists, and it appears he has a strong backbone of family members supporting him.
This post was originally published on September 22, 2020.