Dan Hawkins UC Davis Aggies earn highest preseason ranking in school history

UC Davis head coach Dan Hawkins, a familiar face to European and international football audiences, has achieved school history in only his third year with the program.

The Aggies have achieved two top five rankings in Football Championship Subdivision, FCS, preseason polls.

The defending Big Sky Conference-champions were listed by HERO Sports as its No. 3 team nationally, behind only James Madison and North Dakota State; while Athlon Sports have the program at No. 5.

This is the highest preseason ranking ever achieved by UC Davis since becoming a Division I program in 2007. In fact, HERO’s No. 3 ranking marks the highest FCS poll position of any kind for the Aggies, surpassing the No. 4 spot in the STATS FCS Top 25 back on November 5.

UC Davis comes off a season that boasted a 10-3 overall record, an NCAA quarterfinal appearance, the program’s first Big Sky Conference title. The Aggies return a total of 19 starters, including quarterback and 2018 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year Jake Maier.

Hawkins, who guided the United States to an overwhelming gold medal in the 2015 IFAF World Championships, and then, as offensive coordinator, helped Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders win both the Swedish title and the IFAF Europe Champions League crown, as well as coaching with Austria’s Vienna Vikings, was the runaway winner of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year honor.

Hawkins played for the UC Davis Aggies in the early 1980s and was an assistant there from 1983-85.


“We have a tremendous culture here. Very engaged and supportive leadership with Chancellor Gary May, a progressive and enterprising athletic Director Kevin Blue, at one of the best public universities in world and the country. We attract some pretty special student athletes who are multidimensional on and off the field. It’s been a rewarding labor of love to work with our unique coaching staff to build this program back up to the national prominence. We once had as D2 program, who won 20 conference championships in a row and was regularly nationally ranked. This place has the firepower to stay nationally relevant for years to come.”

Athlon Preseason Top 25

HERO Sports Preseason Top 25


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