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UC Davis set to kickoff at
Kevin Daft, one of the top quarterbacks in UC Davis history and a longtime assistant coach at the University of California, returned to his alma mater for the 2012 season and enters his fifth year on the coaching staff. He assumed offensive coordinator duties under new head coach Ron Gould after serving as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2012.
Daft has helped rejuvenate the UC Davis running attack. Under his direction, the Aggies enjoyed their best running game in more than a decade (152.3 ypg) in 2013 while featuring running back Gabe Manzanares who rushed for 1,285 yards, 10 touchdowns and was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2013. Manzanares entered the 2014 campaign on College Football Performance Award watch lists as a running back and all-purpose runner, was a preseason All-Big Sky selection and repeated third-team postseason honors.
Daft helped oversee and Aggie offense in 2012 that averaged 136.5 ypg. on the ground, a marked improvement from the previous season. The passing game also flourished once again, averaging 233.5 ypg., 38th-best among FCS teams. Included in UC Davis' output was an impressive effort at Idaho State when the Aggies amassed 35 first downs, 331 rushing yards and 309 more through the air while beating the Bengals 52-45.
He tutored quarterback Ben Scott to a strong 2014 finish. Scott started the final six games, throwing for 1,734 yards and 19 touchdowns. Scott threw a pair of 300-yard games that season, a total matched by C.J. Spencer in 2015 against Cal Poly (311) and Sacramento State (312) when he filled in for the injured Scott.
Daft came back to UC Davis after spending the 2011 season as a wide receivers coach for the United Football League's Omaha Nighthawks. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons on the coaching staff at Cal, including three seasons (2008-10) as the Golden Bears' wide receivers coach and one season working with the quarterbacks (2007). Daft was Cal's graduate assistant from 2004-06, working with the offensive line and assisting with game planning, opponent scouting and individual player development. He began his coaching career at UC Davis, directing quarterbacks during the 2003 season as a volunteer assistant.
One of the most prolific passers in UC Davis history, Daft set five NCAA Division II records and remains one of the top passers in program history with 7,601 yards and 68 touchdown passes. He owns the top two marks on the Aggies' single-game passing chart, throwing for a then-Division II playoff record 482 yards in 1997 against New Haven in the national semifinals, and then following with a school-record 495 yards against Southern Utah in 1998. Daft threw for at least 400 yards in four career games, most in school history.
He was a two-time All-American and also was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.Daft was inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.
Daft was selected in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, and was with the team during its run to Super Bowl XXXIV. Daft was also a member of the San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons in 2000, the San Francisco 49ers in 2001 and the Titans in 2002.
Daft saw playing time in NFL Europe with both the Scottish Claymores (2000) and Amsterdam Admirals (2002).He led the Claymores to the World Bowl in 2000, and set an NFL Europe record with 30 career touchdown passes. Daft also played for the Arena Football League Indiana Firebirds in 2004, and spent time with the San Jose SaberCats in 2003.
He and his wife Kesa are parents to daughters, Talia (10) and Caroline (8).
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