College Sports

How Dan Hawkins was nationally honored for setting a ‘new gold standard for UC Davis’

UC Davis football coach Dan Hawkins is doused after his Aggies beat Sacramento State in the 65th Causeway Classic on Nov. 17. Hawkins was honored Wednesday as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, awarded annually at the Division I FCS level.
UC Davis football coach Dan Hawkins is doused after his Aggies beat Sacramento State in the 65th Causeway Classic on Nov. 17. Hawkins was honored Wednesday as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, awarded annually at the Division I FCS level. Special to The Sacramento Bee

The season came to a cold end in the biting chill of Cheney, Wash., on Saturday afternoon, but the accolades continue for UC Davis football.

Dan Hawkins on Wednesday was named Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, presented annually to those at the Division I FCS level.

Hawkins also earned Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honors and became UCD’s first such Robinson winner and the fourth national Coach of the Year winner in the 56-year history of the Big Sky.

In its 100th year of football this season, Hawkins guided the Aggies to a 10-3 showing, including two losses to national power Eastern Washington, one in conference play and the other in a last-minute FCS quarterfinal loss.

UCD won a share of the Big Sky for the first time, halted its consecutive losing seasons skid at six and reached the FCS playoffs for the first time. An alum of the school, Hawkins just completed his second season at the helm.

“It all starts with Coach Hawkins,” UCD All-American Keelan Doss said. “He’s the one who gets it going for us. Great coach.”

Said Hawkins, “These players, and this team, are the new gold standard for UC Davis.

“When you have an administration and an institution that have a passion for something, and are willing to support it, financially and philosophically, and are all rowing in the same direction, magnificent things can happen.”

UCD was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation in 2018, another program record. UCD was regularly ranked high in Division II during the 1980s and ’90s. UCD earned a spot in the FCS top 25 poll in each of the final 11 weeks of the regular season.

A national panel of more than 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Robinson award following the regular season.

Other Big Sky coaches to win it are Nevada’s Chris Ault in 1991, Montana’s Joe Glenn in 2000 and Portland State’s Bruce Barnum in 2015.

Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: jdavidson@sacbee.com, @SacBee_JoeD
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