Special teams enjoy special day as UC Davis beats Sacramento State in Causeway Classic
A former All-Big West Conference Boise State defensive lineman and a participant in two Humanitarian Bowls, Jeff Copp joined the UC Davis football program as a safeties coach in 2009 and is entering his seventh year with the program in 2015. He begins his third season in 2015 coaching the linebackers after coaching the Aggies' defensive backfield prior to that.
Copp added special teams duties in 2012 and the Aggies enjoyed great success. UC Davis led all NCAA Div. I (FCS) teams in net punting (41.4 avg.) and kickoff returns (26.4 avg.) in 2012. Additionally, senior punter Colton Schmidt was named All-Big Sky Conference first team after averaging 44.5 yards per attempt, sixth-best in the FCS, and in 2015 began his second year as the starting punter for the Buffalo Bills. Redshirt freshmankicker Brady Stuart was tied for ninth in field goals (1.4 pg) while Alex Hines (16th) and Jonathan Perkins (30th) were among the top kick returners.
The 2013 season brought more special teams success under Copp. Stuart, who at one point made 10 straight field goals, set a school's single-season record with 17 field goals and earned All-Big Sky third-team honors. Freshman punter Colby Wadman earned honorable mention accolades after averaging 38.6 yards per kick in his first season. Additionally, kick returner Shamawn Wright (25.8 avg.) was ranked 21st nationally. All three entered the 2014 season on College Football Performance Awards watch lists for their respective positions with Wadman averaging 42.3 yards per punt on his way to honorable mention recognition again.The punt return defense in 2013 was among the best in FCS, ranking second by allowing a paltry 1.68 yards per return.
His linebackers have also excelled. Linebacker Steven Pitts earned All-Big Sky honorable mention accolades in 2013 after posting 74 tackles, a team-high 11.5 TFLs and four sacks for 35 yards in losses. He repeated All-Big honors in 2014.
Prior to joining the Aggies, Copp spent the previous four seasons as a safeties and special teams coach at Utah State. Prior to his tenure in Logan, Copp served as a defensive ends coach at Idaho State in 2004 and as a graduate assistant at Arizona State from 2001 to 2003.
Copp earned his bachelor's degree in health sciences from Boise State in 2001 then added a master's degree in higher education at ASU. He is married to the former Amanda Konzelman.