Wednesday, November 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Ex-Aggie Buckley takes restarted Pacific to play old friend Grieb

BruceGallaudetW

By
From page B1 | September 20, 2013 |

Implementing Aggie-style football isn’t as simple as falling out of that Jim Sochor coaching tree everyone talks about.

Pacific University (Ore.) head coach Keith Buckley — now in his fourth season at the helm — is one of the branches on that storied ancestry.

After his first season up north, Buckley recalls seeing his mentor, former UC Davis leader Bob Biggs.

“I ran into coach Biggs recruiting,” the personable Buckley remembers. “The first words out of my mouth was an apology. Sitting there as a second-, third-, or fourth-chair assistant, I didn’t realize how many ways (a head coach) gets pulled.

“I never realized the amount of work coach Biggs had to do. Kinda funny being on the other side, but now I understand.”

Good thing that, like those before him, Buckley learned from the best. That apprenticeship and imbedded football knowledge helped take the former Aggie cornerback to Forest Grove, Ore., to rekindle a program that lay dormant for almost 20 years.

Now, Buckley and Pacific University are off to a 2-0 start and visit 1-2 Menlo College (Atherton) Saturday. He’ll reunite with his former UCD teammate Mark Grieb, who is in his first season leading the Oaks. (There’s a coaching-tree joke there somewhere.)

I had a chance to catch up with Buckley on Thursday. It was pretty clear: once an Aggie, always an Aggie.

“This has been a lot of fun,” the former Biggs disciple told me. “I don’t know if anybody really knows what they’re doing in trying to restart a program … but I fell back on my Aggie days (when it) was about the school, the players, a place at which I couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience.”

Buckley said he’s tried to emulate his Davis playing and coaching lessons in Oregon:

“That UCD coaching tree everybody talks about … I’m proud to be part of that. There were so many good people we were around. This (program) is just an extension and a fun testament to coach Sochor and UCD.”

While QB Grieb was etching his name in the Aggie record books — top 10 in a half-dozen categories — Buckley was helping an iron-fisted defense stay the course. With Grieb and Buckley playing for Biggs, UCD went 30-11-1.

Now, the former Aggies will watch their players attempt to knock the cream cheese out of one another.

Buckley says as classmates and friends, he’s looking forward to the reunion. He thinks there will be a little time after the game during which family and friends of both coaches will be able to get together, quickly catch up.

But the Boxers (their mascot’s evolution is a long story) have to catch a plane Saturday night and the reminiscing will be at a minimum.

By the way, Pacific features 2009 Davis High graduate Gabe Flory.

Flory, now a senior, is coming off a knee injury in 2012 and “is getting there,” says Buckley.

Flory knows a little something about helping a football program get its feet again. The linebacker (son of John and Debi) played for coach Dan Gazzaniga (yes, another ex-Aggie) during back-to-back 2-8 seasons.

Buckley (and Flory) have seen Pacific go from 0-9 that first year back, to 1-8 and on to 3-6 last fall. The 2010 campaign marked the 100th football season in school history.

Pacific University was founded before the Civil War and began playing football in 1892. How long ago? Basketball was just invented and electricity came to Forest Grove the year before.

During the original 99-year run, Pacific University once had Paul Stagg — son of legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg — as its coach. Stagg directed the Boxers to several Northwest Conference titles and beat UCD in two Peach Bowls (1949 and 1951).

Buckley, who scours Northern California for players, was asked if he had anything to say to the home folk?

“Yes. It’s 75 degrees today,” the coach reported by phone. “There’s not a cloud in the sky. Tell everyone it doesn’t rain every day in Oregon.”

While I Have You Here: Most of you know Grieb spent 13 seasons in the Arena Football League (mostly with San Jose). Did you know he won three Arena Bowls and played for Sochor in NFL Europe (Scottish Claymores)?

Knew that, too, huh? Alright, smarty, how many touchdown passes did Grieb throw in the AFL?

Try 922. Seriously, take that Peyton Manning.

Oh, and that Pacific mascot? I know you want to know …

In the late 19th century, an alumus gave the school a statuette purchased from a Chinese family. It was the family’s coat of arms — a mix of several mythical creatures.

It was placed in a display case on campus and became known to students as “dragon dog.” Eventually, a high-ranking school official began saying it looked like a boxer — the dog, not the fighter.

Pacific University historians have written that, over time, dragon dog evolved into the school’s beloved Boxer mascot.

I suppose that story is as good as any.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Food fight … in a good way

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fremont Weir parking lot remains closed

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

    Occupy movement settles in at UC Davis

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Time to give thanks for nature’s beauty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Second cat-hoarding suspect arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Year-end films to see, or not, on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    LCI marks 50 years with special service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Happy Thanksgiving from The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Learn to use Skype at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Girls who volunteer may apply for grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Community Gift Project brightens holidays for children

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker proposes changes in humanities doctorate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Senior Center hosts holiday sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sutter sponsors qigong for holiday de-stress

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Boy Scouts start Christmas tree sales on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers needed to grow plants for habitat restoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Rainbow City community meeting set Dec. 1

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    She wants more from him

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Musings in the wake of Ferguson decision

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Rich Rifkin: Is it time to be a bear or a bull?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Planting love at new home

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Innovation parks comparison

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devils prepare for a new season on the mat

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    No excuses, but there’s hope for UCD after 2-9 season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Joseph, Manzanares lead 10 All-Big Sky Aggie picks

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS wrestling is not just for boys

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Let’s not lose another good DHS coach

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1

     
    Davis Little League offers early sign-up discounts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Kings get past Pelicans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Features

    Salute to non-steamed broccoli

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    It really is ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Elzyne Thompson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Buddy Ralph Mills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Ready, Set, Shop!

    Shop locally: You can have your pie and eat it too

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS1

    Santa’s little helper: secrets to happy holiday shopping

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: RSS2

    Make sure it gets there: deadlines for shopping and shipping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS2

    Downtown lights up at holiday open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS3

    Full of warm wishes and over-sharing, the holiday card lives on

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS4

    Shop smart: Protect your wallet and your identity this shopping season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5

    Woodland celebrates the holidays downtown

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5