Friday, December 26, 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.

  • .


    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

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

    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Playing Santa

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Goats help recycle Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery





    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11



    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery



    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9