Toler joins Aggie staff as receivers coach

Burl Toler and Aaron Peck celebrate a moment during the 2016 season. (Photo courtesy of Burl Toler III)
Jan. 1, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - Once a target of Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers and most recently an assistant at Fresno State, Burl Toler III joins the UC Davis football staff as a wide receivers coach. His arrival also finalizes the full-time staff under new mentor Dan Hawkins, who took over the UC Davis program helm on November 28.

“There is a lot of excitement surrounding UC Davis right now and I’m thankful for Coach Hawkins and the rest of the staff for bringing me on to be a part of it,” Toler said. “The program is headed in the right direction and I’m looking forward to being an integral role in the success of our young men on and off the field.”

Toler served a similar role with the Bulldogs this season, guiding three wideouts to at least 45 receptions and 600 yards. His top student-athlete, sophomore KeeSean Johnson, ranked third in the Mountain West Conference with 5.5 receptions per game and went on to earn All-MWC honorable mention.

His service in Fresno followed a three-year stint as a special teams quality control, assistant wide receivers and assistant running backs coach at his alma mater. He helped the Golden Bears rank among the national FBS leaders in passing offense (third), total offense (seventh), yards per play (seventh), first downs (seventh) and total offense per game (fifth) during those three seasons under head coach Sonny Dykes.

Toler is the youngest of three generations to make their marks in Bay Area football. His grandfather, Burl, Sr., starred for the powerhouse 1951 University of San Francisco team and later became the first African-American official in the NFL. Burl, Jr., went from being a walk-on at Cal to a starting linebacker for the Golden Bears in the mid-1970s. 

Burl III followed in his father’s footsteps by walking on at Cal, then later emerging as a starter and key contributor. He enjoyed his best season in 2003, pulling in 48 passes for 609 yards and three touchdowns. Toler followed his collegiate career with various professional teams in the NFL (Oakland, Washington), NFL Europe (Cologne, Bologna), CFL (Hamilton) and Arena (San Jose, Orlando and San Antonio).

Toler graduated from Cal in 2005 with a degree in social welfare and a concentration in sociology.

Toler finalizes Hawkins’ roster of new assistant coaches, along with Tim Plough (offensive coordinator), Robert Tucker (defensive coordinator), Mark Speckman (assistant head coach, running backs), Isaiah Jackson (inside linebackers), Jerry Brady (outside linebackers) and Cha’pelle Brown (defensive backs). 

Additionally, Paul Creighton (recruiting coordinator/tight ends), Tim Keane (offensive line) and David Braun (defensive line) will remain at their respective coaching positions, while Tim Ornelas returns as director of video services. Wes Nurse moves from his post as cornerbacks coach to that of director of football operations.