Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Aggies fill in final pieces of football coaching puzzle

From page B1 | February 06, 2013 |

With national signing day set for today, new UC Davis football head coach Ron Gould has been putting the finishing touches on his staff. And now that the NFL playoffs are over, another key position — defensive coordinator — has been filled by a familiar name to Aggie fans: Bert Watts.

The Enterprise also has learned the salaries of Gould’s staff, which includes four returning coaches and five new faces.

One of those new faces, Watts was most recently an assistant with the Denver Broncos and will be the third member of his family to contribute to UCD athletics. His brother Tom Watts was a standout safety for the Aggies in 1998-2001, while another brother, Rich, an All-American baseball player in 1993-94, is enshrined in the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame.

Bert Watts, 33, is fresh off of helping the Broncos to the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Prior to that, he spent two seasons at the University of Colorado as the Buffaloes’ defensive technical intern. Watts, who also coached two years of high school in Florida, was the defensive coordinator for the professional Raiffeisen Vikings in Austria in 2007.

He moved into coaching after playing for Cal, where he led the Bears with 80 tackles as a senior in 2002, highlighting his year with a career-best 15 tackles at USC. Watts went on to earn the team’s Joe Roth Award for courage, attitude and sportsmanship.

Following his playing career, he served as the Bears’ defensive graduate assistant for two seasons, working on the coaching staff alongside Gould when Cal went to the 2004 Holiday Bowl and finished 10-2.

He and his college sweetheart, Lyndsay Graubard, were married in 2011.

Another addition to the program is director of football operations Dennis Hallin, who comes to UCD after a 13-year association with the UC Berkeley Athletics Department.

Hallin — who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the UC Davis football program including travel arrangements, operational and fundraising budgeting, and  assisting in all aspects of football recruiting — was an administrative assistant with the Cal football program in 2004-12.

The new coaching staff will be paid a relatively similar amount to the previous group under longtime head coach Bob Biggs, who retired following last season. While the money for assistants is being spread over just nine coaches as opposed to last year’s 10, none of the top earners makes as much as the highest paid coaches during the 2012 season as the Aggies had two assistants earning between $86,000 and $89,000.

Under Gould, who has a five-year contract that pays him a base salary of $235,000 with some additional incentives for athletic and academic success, Watts will make $75,000 in 2013, while Kevin Daft will be paid $70,000 to be the offensive coordinator. The rest of the coaches salaries — new faces Anthony Tucker ($45,000), Matt Wiegand ($42,000), Bryan Wright ($37,000), Ben Steele ($42,000) and returners Jeff Copp ($60,000), Damaro Wheeler ($37,000) and Will Kofe ($37,000) — also have been set.



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