Recruiting can be a chore and a bore, but Dan Hawkins embraces the challenge.
The first-year UC Davis football coach didn’t experience any rust on the recruiting trail after having not made a living-room pitch to college prospects and their mothers since January 2010, when he was the head coach at Colorado.
“Recruiting is never exhausting to me,” Hawkins said. “I love it. I love interacting with people, educating them, informing them. It’s about telling the truth. I’m a people person. It’s like riding a bike. I’m a master of the craft and can shed a lot of light.”
Hawkins ensured that the Aggies’ coaching staff enjoyed college football’s recent signing day. They even pulled off a Mannequin Challenge in their war room, and they posted on their social media account a hilarious bit that showed assistant head coach Mark Speckman excitedly racing through the offices to collect a faxed letter of intent.
Part of Hawkins’ UCD recruiting pitch is what the school can do to shape one’s life. It sure shaped his. He played fullback for UCD in the early 1980s, a product of tiny-town Bieber in Lassen County. He called it a dream come true to come full circle.
Hawkins attended the Kings-Celtics game at Golden 1 Center on Wednesday, introduced as an honorary co-captain of the night decked in Aggies blue and gold. Even without words, he’s recruiting.
Titans standing – Burbank High School honored three of its greatest athletes last week before a home basketball game. Terrance Mitchell, Ricky Reynolds and Alex Van Dyke were presented with roses and had their NFL jerseys mounted. “It’s always good to come home,” said Mitchell, a cornerback with the Chiefs out of Oregon.
Reynolds was a Titans star in the early 1980s, offered a scholarship by Washington State in the Hughes Stadium parking lot after the Optimist All-Star Game. He played 10 NFL seasons at cornerback for the Buccaneers and Patriots, starting in his final six. Van Dyke was a bright light on one-win Titans teams in the late 1980s, then became an All-America record-setting wide receiver at Sac City and Nevada before playing five NFL seasons for the Jets and Eagles.
Arroyo at O – Oregon has hired former Colfax quarterback star Marcus Arroyo to coach quarterbacks and serve as the Ducks’ passing-game coordinator. Arroyo played at San Jose State from 1998 to 2002 and had assistant coaching gigs across the country, including the previous two seasons at Oklahoma State.
Raising Cain – Jamar Cain, who cut his gridiron teeth as a player at Valley High and Sacramento City College, has been hired to coach the defensive line at San Jose State. Cain coached the defensive line for previous three seasons at North Dakota State, which won two FCS national championships in that span. He started his coaching career at Sac City in 2004. While at Cal Poly earlier this decade, he found a recruit through the advice of a Sacramento barber, telling us then, “You always listen to your barber.”
Daft landing – Kevin Daft, a record-setting quarterback for UCD who coached for the previous five years as an assistant at his alma mater, has been hired at Dartmouth as its offensive coordinator. Daft also coached seven years at Cal. Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens was Stanford’s head coach from 2002 to 2004.
Evero efforts – Former UCD All-American Ejiro Evero has been named as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive backs coach after coaching a year with the Packers and five with the 49ers. Evero also had stints with the Buccaneers after getting his start at Davis High and UCD.
Hall pass – Skip Vanderbundt, an El Dorado High star in the 1960s who played nine seasons at linebacker for the 49ers, will be inducted into the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame at its 17th Bay Area Community Award Ceremony on Feb. 24 in Oakland. Vanderbundt was awarded the “Key to Sacramento” for his community work.