Recap of the first day of football practice in 2012
Ask anyone close to the UC Davis football program about its head coach and you'll tend to get the same response: "Not your typical football coach."
The compliment fits Bob Biggs. Despite running a program that played at the highest levels nationally at the NCAA Division II level and one that is quickly rising among the ranks of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Biggs has remained an accessible and engaging leader of the Aggies.
Biggs' stamp on the football program at UC Davis is one of success, intensity and intelligence that carried his teams to eight playoff appearances and an average of nine wins per year during his first decade.
Now embarking on his 20th and final year as the head coach for the Aggies, Biggs will cap a 35-year career on the coaching staff by leading UC Davis into its inaugural season in the Big Sky Conference in 2012. Following wins over rivals Cal Poly and Sacramento State in 2011, Biggs hopes to improve on a stellar 15-4 career mark in Causeway Classic games.
The second-winningest football coach in UC Davis history, Biggs trails only his mentor, Jim Sochor, on the all-time coaching victories list. His first win in the 1999 season was his 50th, making him one of the quickest coaches to reach that plateau in the nation regardless of division. With a win over former Great West Conference rival Northern Colorado in 2004, Biggs hit his 100th career win in just his 12th year. He is 140-78-1.
In 2010, he led UC Davis to its second consecutive winning season with a 6-5 record. The Aggies defeated an FBS opponent with a 14-13 win at San Jose State. It was the first time since defeating Stanford in 2005 that UC Davis downed a Bowl Subdivision member. The Aggies also finished the season on a high note with three consecutive victories. After road wins at North Dakota and No. 19 Cal Poly, UC Davis capped off the season with a 17-16 win over Sacramento State at home.
In 2009, he helped lead the Aggies to the Great West Conference championship for the second time since 2005. The Aggies also delivered their 38th winning season in their past 40.
In 1993 and 2000, he was named American Football Coaches Association's Region 5 College Division Coach of the Year. In 2002, he won Coach of the Year honors for the inaugural Independent Football Alliance.
Biggs, previously the quarterbacks coach, has seen four of his protégés enter the professional ranks. Khari Jones (1991-93) earned Canadian Football League MVP honors in 2001, Mark Grieb (1994-96) earned Arena Bowl MVP for the San Jose Sabercats in 2007, and Kevin Daft (1996-98) was a fifth-round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans in 1999.
Most recently, J.T. O'Sullivan (1999-2001) was selected in the sixth round by the New Orleans Saints in 2002 and was chosen as Co-Offensive MVP of NFL Europe in 2007. He is currently on the Oakland Raiders roster.
Under his guidance, the Aggies consistently ranked among the top Division II teams in the nation in total offense. In 2000, UC Davis averaged almost 520 yards per game, ranking among the national leaders during the regular season.
Biggs had similar success as a UC Davis quarterback. His legend was sealed in 1971 when he was the quarterback for the Aggies' "Miracle Win" over Cal State Hayward. In that game, he directed a comeback that featured 16 points in the final 20 seconds and resulted in a 30-29 victory. That win paved the way for the first of UC Davis' national-record 20 straight league titles.
During his senior year in 1972, Biggs averaged 272.8 yards per game in total offense and was the leading passer in the nation at Division II (then known as the College Division). That year, he also became the Aggies' first 2,000-yard passer, while setting the school record for attempts with 387, a mark that stayed intact for 21 years. He had four 300-yard passing games that fall, including a 399-yard day at San Francisco State.
In his final game as a collegian, Biggs led UC Davis to Atlantic City, N.J., for the NCAA's Boardwalk Bowl and a clash with Massachusetts. Playing the entire game with a broken finger, he set two national records in the Aggies' 35-14 loss. His record 59 passes that day established a Division II postseason record.
Biggs, a member of the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame, was an Associated Press Little All-American that season. He graduated in 1973 with a double major in political science and history.
Biggs played professionally with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League and the Portland Storm of the World Football League. He also spent time in the training camp of the NFL's Denver Broncos.
Biggs came back to his alma mater to join the coaching staff in 1978. He became the offensive coordinator in 1987 and was the assistant head coach in 1991 and 1992 before taking the head coaching position in 1993. In his first year as head football coach, the Aggies went 10-2, were co-champions of the American West Conference and reached the second round of the NCAA Playoffs for the first time in 10 years. He was also named AFCA Region Coach of the Year.
Biggs also served as head men's tennis coach from 1979 through 1988. In that span, he guided the Aggies to five NCAA Championships appearances, including a third-place finish in 1986.
Bob and his wife Diane have two sons, Ryan and Kyle.