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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 |

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.”

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