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UCD’s Biggs to step down after 2012 football season

UC Davis football coach Bob Biggs, left, celebrates the Aggies' 2010 Causeway Classic victory over Sacramento State University. Biggs announced Thursday that he will retire after the 2012 football season. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

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From page B1 | December 01, 2011 | 6 Comments

Bob Biggs, who has given 38 years to the UC Davis football program as a player, assistant and head coach, will give the Aggies one more season.

The UCD head coach will retire from coaching after the 2012 season, according to a Thursday announcement from Nona Richardson, the university’s interim director of athletics.

Biggs, who will retire from the university in June 2013, was a first-team Little All-American quarterback by the Associated Press before later returning as an assistant coach in 1978. Next season marks Biggs’ 35th on the football coaching staff and his 20th as head coach, a position from which he has posted the second-most wins in program history (140-78-1).

“UC Davis is a very special place where a student-athlete can truly strive for success both on and off the field,” Biggs said in a news release. “I’ve been very fortunate to have been associated with the university as both a player and a coach for nearly 40 years.

“I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished over that period and I look forward to our first year in the Big Sky Conference, and then stepping away to help the program transition into new leadership.”

Under Biggs, the Aggies have enjoyed tremendous success on the gridiron and in the classroom. Most recently, the UCD football team posted an Academic Progress Rate that led not only the Great West Conference but also was higher than any football program in the Big Sky Conference, the league the school will join in 2012.

“Bob embodies the kind of excellence and leadership we value at UC Davis,” said Chancellor Linda Katehi. “He is a tremendous coach with a stunning record. But he is also an outstanding mentor for all our student-athletes and a wonderful ambassador for our university. He has set a standard for others to follow.”

With his 140 wins — a few of them picked up this season when the Aggies went 4-7 — Biggs trails only his mentor, College Football Hall of Famer Jim Sochor, who had 156 wins from 1970 to 1988. Biggs, who was Sochor’s QB those first few seasons, took over as UCD’s head coach in 1993, leading the Aggies to eight NCAA Division II playoff berths including seven straight before it began its reclassification to Division I status in 2004.

In all, he led UCD to five 10-win seasons and he continued a streak started by Sochor that saw the Aggies post 37 consecutive winning seasons.

Biggs joined the UCD football program in 1969, embarking on a playing career that eventually earned him induction into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame. He was the Aggies’ first-ever 2,000-yard passer, had four 300-yard passing games and cemented his name in program lore when he directed UCD’s improbable last-second 30-29 comeback against Cal State Hayward in 1971, dubbed The Miracle Game.

As a head coach, Biggs also was the architect of one of the biggest upsets in recent college football history when he directed UCD — which at the time was still officially a Division II squad — to a monumental 20-17 road win over Stanford in 2005.

Biggs returned to the Aggies as an assistant football coach and head men’s tennis coach in 1978 after a brief career as a professional quarterback.

Since becoming a head coach, his mentoring of quarterbacks has turned out several outstanding signal-callers who went on to play professionally, including Khari Jones (1991-93) in the Canadian Football League, Mark Grieb (1994-96) in the Arena Football League, and Kevin Daft (1996-98) and J.T. O’Sullivan (1999-2001), each of whom was drafted into the NFL. As an assistant, he worked with Aggie QB Chris Petersen, now the head coach at Boise State.

“Bob is among a select group of individuals who have not only played for UC Davis but have returned to coach future generations of Aggies as well,” Richardson said. “He’s synonymous with UC Davis football and we’re appreciative of everything he’s accomplished.”

Enterprise staff

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Discussion | 6 comments

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  • alot of moneyDecember 01, 2011 - 7:50 pm

    According to the Sac Bee website, his yearly salary (AND his pension) is $180,000 a year. That seems like alot of money when you consider that the university is bankrupt and keeps cutting funding to its students.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Greg KuperbergDecember 01, 2011 - 8:05 pm

    For a university football coach, that's bottom dollar --- and I'd be happy if it stayed that way. The current university football coach in the town where I grew up gets paid $3.5 million. That is at a university that has rather less money than UC Davis does. But, the athletic department there gets a ton of football revenue and is all-powerful. They drink freely and deeply from their own spring, and I'm not sure if overall athletics there loses money or breaks even.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BarbaraDecember 01, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    Say it isn't so.....Bob Biggs is a true Aggie through and through and his departure will be a huge loss for UCD. The fact that he came up through the ranks from player to head coach brings a lot of history and depth to the program. I hope he and his family stay in Davis - they are assets to the community and wonderful human beings.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • J KerrDecember 01, 2011 - 9:07 pm

    Is coach Bigg's retirement his idea or someone else's?

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  • » 2012 will be Biggs’ last season as UCD football coach GenTair : todays News and tendsDecember 01, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    [...] from: 2012 will be Biggs’ last season as UCD football coach No Comments Filed under: Today RSS Posted on: December 1st, 2011 Tags: architect, [...]

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  • Ron SchmuckerMarch 29, 2012 - 1:49 am

    " I know this is honorable and all, but does that mean he sticks around for one more season? I mean he's a cool coach and a nice guy, but I feel like one more year just does a disservice to the program. school and fans." Couldn't disagree more. I was never fully comfortable joining the "Fire Biggs" chorus, simply for the fact that I feel like he's been able to perform decently given all the constraints imposed on our university and football program compared to that of other FCS institutions. Is "decent" cutting it? Maybe not, but I don't think that means he needs to go immediately. I wish next year could have been his "last chance" to get past mediocrity and achieve greater success, as opposed to it simply being his "goodbye year". http://9pillsonline.com/

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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