Former UC Davis student-athlete Ryan Green will travel abroad, gap year plans include a service trip to the Philippines before landing in Australia to coach football and conduct research
Aggie Stadium hosts annual event; countdown to UC Davis' Aug. 30 season opener is officially underway
Football student-athletes now have an opportunity to study abroad during the spring quarter with off-season workouts starting Thursday
Aggies' incoming class grows to 18 with Wednesday's commitments, each of the program's new student-athletes are California standouts
UC Davis fills up Big Sky's annual award list
He has taken his family on vacation to Machu Picchu in Peru. He has taught science, jumped out of airplanes, and coached football in 13 different countries. For Dan Hawkins, who was introduced on November 28, 2016, those aren’t simply items to cross off a bucket list, they have been opportunities to learn. It’s that thirst for learning, and application of that knowledge, that brought Hawkins, a 1984 UC Davis alumnus who played and coached with legendary head coach Jim Sochor, back to his alma mater.
By incorporating the program’s core principles of uncommon engineering, quality balance of life and excellence with class, the Aggies thrived both on and off the field, and built the foundation for the program’s #AGScension.
During Hawkins’ first year at UC Davis, his team set 46 new Big Sky era records, faced more ranked teams (or teams receiving votes) since joining the league, won five games against Division I competition, —equal to the combined total from the previous three seasons, — and collected five Big Sky Player of the Week awards, matching the total from the last four years combined.
For the first time in program history, UC Davis also ended the season as the league’s No. 1 offense.
Under Hawkins’ tutelage, the Aggies earned 10 All-Big Sky awards, including two of the league’s top honors: wide receiver Keelan Doss was named offensive player of the year and quarterback Jake Maier was named the conference’s newcomer of the year.
By finishing the regular season as the best wide receiver in the nation — no player at the FBS or FCS levels holds higher total receiving yards (1,499), receiving yards per game (136.3) or receptions per game (10.5) averages — Doss became the first Aggie national finalist for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the FCS’ top offensive player in the country.
In addition to its on-field success, UC Davis football posted the highest APR — a team-based metric that holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes — of any Big Sky program for the fifth straight year when the NCAA released its annual report.
Football student-athletes also enjoy a unique opportunity as part of Hawkins’ program, one rarely presented by any program, at any level across the nation.
By shifting his off-season workouts to the winter quarter, student-athletes are now able to study abroad, participate in an internship, volunteer or organize community service projects during the spring quarter and summer months. By enabling his players to enjoy the same opportunities provided to the student body, Hawkins has successfully created a culture focused on providing a well-rounded college experience at the sixth-ranked public school in the nation, while competing at the highest level of college athletics.
Hawkins, who also served as a college football studio analyst at ESPN in recent seasons, brings a unique depth of experience and innovative offensive approach back to his alma mater. During his career, Hawkins built Boise State to elite status on the college football landscape and coached in the Big XII at the University of Colorado.
"We are very excited to welcome Dan Hawkins back to UC Davis to lead an exciting new era of football at his alma mater. Dan is a highly experienced head football coach who possesses in-depth expertise about what it takes to be successful in the modern era of Division I college football," said Blue.
"Dan demonstrates an uncommon intellectual curiosity and shares our earnest commitment to the scholar-athlete ideal. His understanding of our successful football history, combined with his knowledge and experience in contemporary college football, makes him the ideal coach to move our program forward," Blue added.
Hawkins, the 17th head coach in the program’s history, is married to the former Misti Rae Ann Hokanson.
Head Coach Dan Hawkins
- Played fullback for legendary UC Davis head coach Jim Sochor from 1981-82
- Member of the 1982 football team that advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship after winning the 12th of 20 consecutive conference titles
- First-generation college student
- Served as an assistant coach for his mentor, Sochor, from 1983-85
- Graduated from UC Davis in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education
- Earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Saint Mary’s (Calif.) College in 1993
- First college head coaching opportunity took place at Willamette University
- That football program, one that enjoyed just three winning seasons in the eight prior to Hawkins’ arrival, posted a combined 39-12-1 mark during his tenure (1993-97)
- Included in that winning overall record is a pair of 5-0 conference records, a 13-1 overall record and NAIA national runner-up finish in 1997
- Turned Boise State from a "school with the blue football turf" into a perennial national power as its head coach from 2001-05
- During the Hawkins era, the Broncos posted a 56-11 overall record, which included a 37-3 record and 31-game win streak in the Western Athletic Conference
- Boise State led the country in scoring (45.6) and total offense (501.5) in 2002
- Hawkins coached 20 All-WAC first-team selections, three All-Americans, and 10 players that played in the NFL
- Coach Hawkins led the Broncos to four WAC titles, collected Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and ’04, and ended the 2004 season as a finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award
- Took over a rebuilding Colorado (2006-10) program and gained invaluable experience during his tenure with the Big XII Conference
- Remained within the collegiate ranks after Colorado and served as a studio analyst at ESPN before returning to UC Davis
- Also coached at Christian Brothers High School (1986-87) in Sacramento, College of the Siskiyous (1988-91) and Sonoma State (1992)
- Led the U.S. National Football Team to a gold medal at the 2015 IFAF World Championship
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