Homecoming at the University is a week of tradition, and a popular time for alumni and fans to converge on campus. Over the years, the position of Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal has been filled by many notable alumni and friends of the University. This year Olympic gold medal winner Kyle Clemons and longtime KU sports radio personality Bob Davis will lead the parade through downtown Lawrence.
Clemons, a former 400 meter sprinter at the University, won a gold medal in the 4-x-400 meter relay at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympics this past August, according to the release. He received All-American honors from 2011-13 and was a two-time Big 12 Champion in 2013.
Davis was the play-by-play voice of football and men’s basketball from 1984 until his retirement in April. He covered eight of the Jayhawks' 14 Final Four appearances, two basketball national championships, and six football bowl games during his tenure, according to a KU news release.
Davis said he was pleasantly surprised to be nominated as one of the Grand Marshals, and honored to join the list of notable people to be nominated for the role.
“It was nice of the Alumni Association to do that, and I’m sure it’ll be an enjoyable ride. It’ll be an interesting experience, I’ve never done anything quite like that before,” he said. “You look through the list of people who’ve been Grand Marshal and it’s a wide range of different people who’ve really done a lot. It’s really nice of them to honor the old announcer.”
Davis said he’s excited for an opportunity to meet his fellow Grand Marshal.
“I think it’ll be interesting to meet Kyle, maybe he’ll bring his gold medal so we can all take a look at it,” he said.
Meeting up with old friends and fellow alumni is what Clemons is looking forward to the most.
“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and other alumni, and to be part of the tradition,” he said.
Clemons said he was honored to recognized by the University and the community that’s given him so much support.
“I can't even explain to you what it means to me. KU has been such a big part of my journey so far. I definitely wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them, so just knowing they’re in my corner and having all that support is just really special.”
Being chosen as a Grand Marshal is the perfect follow-up to the Olympics, Clemons said.
“After everything I’ve been doing for the past few years, this is a big honor,” he said. “Going to Rio and winning gold was great, and this is really the icing on the cake.”