"Coach" Wayne Davenport, age 78, of Little Rock, AR, entered into his next life Sunday, September 22, 2019, with his loving wife and son holding his hands. He was born August 12, 1941 in North Little Rock, AR, the son of Kenneth and Odelia (Cobb) Davenport.
Wayne was a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University where earned a masters degree in education. He knew very early in life that he wanted to be a coach so that he could make a difference in young peoples lives. "Coach" as he was affectionally called by everyone, married the love of his life, Loretta, on June 20, 1981. They had an awesome 38 years together. Wayne brought to his marriage a very special son, Brian, who was much more than a stepson to Loretta, and she was much more than a stepmom to Brian.
As a young kid it was obvious that Wayne was an elite athlete. He was one of very few Arkansas kids to have ever had the thrill of playing in the Little League World Series, in Williamsport, PA. Wayne excelled in baseball and basketball throughout his youth and high school years. He was a standout player at North Little Rock High School and earned a scholarship to play both baseball and basketball at Ouachita Baptist University, where he teamed with his brother Ken. After graduating from Ouachita, Coach followed his passion of coaching. He first worked for a year coaching the junior varsity basketball team at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he helped lead the team to an undefeated season. Wayne then moved on to become a career high school basketball coach. He first coached the girls basketball program at England High School, where he took one of his teams to the state finals. This is also a time when Wayne, with the help of Hall of Fame coach Helen Parker of Ashdown, help get an Arkansas state all star game for girls started. In 1974 Wayne took over the boys basketball program at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock. Over the next 26 years Wayne built Robinson in to a state powerhouse. Wayne's teams won countless conference, district and regional championships over those 26 years. He took three teams to the state championship game. In 1982 and 1990 his teams were state runners up. The 1990 team was led by his son Brian. His 1987 team won the state championship, the only state championship in basketball in Joe T. Robinson basketball history. Before retiring from coaching high school basketball in 2000, Wayne began teaching young aspiring basketball players through private lessons. Just another way of fulfilling his passion for making a difference in young peoples lives. Through his years of coaching and teaching private lesson to young people, he literally impacted hundreds of kids lives. His passion was always trying to make a difference and he loved watching those he worked with blossom. If you were one of the lucky ones who took the time to get to know Wayne, you know what an outstanding man, husband, father and coach he was. He believed in standing up for what you felt was right and also holding yourself responsible and accountable when you were wrong.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Odelia Davenport, a brother and sister in law, Calvin and Erma Davenport, his mother in law Lottye Short and a very special niece Charlotte Stone.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Loretta Davenport, his son Brian and wife Brooke, his five grandchildren, Reagan, Aniston, Skye, Gracie, and Lennox, brother Ken and wife Susan and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Friday October 4, 2019, at Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street, North Little Rock, AR, from 6:00 pm till 8:00 pm. There will be a Celebration of Life memorial service on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 1:00 pm also at the funeral home.
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