Friday, November 28, 2014

New assistant Finn likes how Aggie front line is shaping up


UCD offensive line coach Dan Finn, right, works with several Aggie lineman at a recent practice. Finn is in his first year at UCD, coming over after two years at Utah. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | August 10, 2014 |

Dan Finn seems like a no-nonsense kinda guy.

In his playing days at Northern Arizona University, he was a two-time All-Big Sky offensive lineman and team MVP who went on to play in NFL Europe before having that proverbial cup of coffee with the Denver Broncos.

As a coach, he’s been much sought after since that 1998 season in Colorado. He knows how to push people around, and these days he’s teaching Aggies to grade the road as a first-year offensive line coach at UC Davis.

“He’s played the position at a very high level,” says UCD head coach Ron Gould, who signed Finn after two campaigns instructing the University of Utah O-line.

“He’s very technical and has great attention to detail. He cares about the young men. He really wants them to do great things. He is a great mentor.”

Finn comes to town replacing Matt Wiegand, who joined one-year-and-gone Aggie recruiting specialist Ben Steele with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Since being hired early in the spring, Finn, his wife Megan and their two dogs are acclimating to Davis.

“This is a nice town, downtown is cool. It’s a nice, little college atmosphere,” Finn says. “It’s a nice place to live. We’ve enjoyed ourselves immensely.”

Finn’s career has taken him on gigs from San Diego State to Utah and in-between he’s been on staffs that have played in four bowl games.

After a week of camp, the 6-foot-4 (you guess his weight) Finn likes what he sees about his front line. You could see he especially liked Friday’s workout — the first day of contact drills.

“So far, so good,” he told The Enterprise after Friday’s practice at Toomey Field. “The older guys I’ve inherited are doing a great job. And we’ve had a few young guys from spring ball and through the summer come along as I hoped they would.”

Finn’s “inherited” guys are a proven bunch that could form one of the Big Sky Conference’s top offensive lines. The returning four certainly showed their mettle last year as Aggie running back Gabe Manzanares rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Ian Joseph (6-6, 300) is back, as are center Jay Luchetti (6-4, 285) and guards Chris Schneider (6-4, 255) and Parker Smith (6-4, 290). Luchetti and Joseph are seniors, Smith is a junior and Schneider a sophomore. All started in 2013.

“We’ve got a couple guys locked in to being starters,” Finn says. “I’ve got six or seven competing for playing time. Hopefully, by the end of camp, we’ll feel good about numbers one through eight.

“I want to get my best five guys on the field and have three guys who can play multiple spots and back up where we need to.”

So what’s the difference between the players and atmosphere of Football Bowl Subdivision Utah and FCS Davis?

“It’s just a different level of football,” Finn responds. “You don’t have as many guys out (at camp) … and the guys at my last place were a lot bigger.

“The speed of the game was faster, more physical, but we still have Division I football (at UC Davis) We still have great players. There is a difference, but it’s not as drastic as some people might think.”

That’s good news for Aggie faithful as the clock ticks down to the season opener at No. 11 Stanford.

Notes: Someday soon somebody — this newspaper or a UC Davis football alum or a fan — will mention the first time the Aggies and Stanford played. Nobody in Davis has forgotten that UCD beat the Cardinal, 20-17, on Sept. 18, 2005. And certainly nobody at Stanford has forgotten. When the time is right, talking about that game will make for an interesting discussion. But it certainly won’t be Gould who starts it. … By the way, in the 16 years Gould coached at Cal, the Golden Bears went 7-9 against Stanford. … On Friday, no fewer than four people suggested to Assistant Athletic Director Mike Robles that the Aggies play a throw-back game at Toomey. UCD spent the day on real grass and observers could feel the old days creeping in.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or 530-320-4456.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .


    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Looking for the gift of life

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Holiday shopping in full gear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Tell us your Putah Creek stories

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Gorilla death prompts S.F. Zoo changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: MRAP your arms around this

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

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

    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9



    Behavior straining friendship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery





    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10