As the Aggies took their celebratory kneel down in a 34-27 victory against Sacramento State in the 59th annual Causeway Classic, Bob Biggs could not have found a better way to end his 20-year run as UC Davis football head coach.
“I do not really know when everything hit me,” said Biggs. “When we took a knee, the world seemed to go by so fast, but slow at the same time. I thought, ‘Wow, this is coming to an end,’ and I wanted to take it all in. It was emotional for the players as well. There are no words to say how much gratitude I have.”
As Biggs ends his coaching career at Davis; leaving behind a career record of 144-85-1, finishing with a 16-4 record of the Causeway Classic, 2009 Great West Conference Coach of the Year, and coaching the Aggies from Division II to the Big Sky Conference, his legacy will be forever etched in Davis lore. Now, newly selected Ron Gould must take the reins of the football program.
“We had three legendary coaches in Jim Sochor, Bob Foster and Bob Biggs,” said Gould. “Replacing those coaches, there is always pressure. But I have the expectation for myself. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always had high expectations. Regardless of who the coach is or who I am preceding, I need to make sure my standards are high for myself, for this team.”
Gould will be stepping in to help guide a program which has big ambitions for the future. UC Davis hopes to continue the upward trend of improvement in its football program, maybe even one day being on the same level as some of the other UC schools.
“This university is prestigious,” Gould said. “When you talk about UC’s, you think of some of the pre-eminent schools in the country. I fell in love with this school the first time I visited. I really felt this place has an opportunity to be special.”
Signing a five-year deal, Gould is hopeful for the upcoming season.
“I am very pleased with the team. We were able to implement a new offense as well as a new defense. The players responded well. I am very encouraged and optimistic about the upcoming season,” Gould said.
Ron Gould was a 16-year assistant head coach at California, and becomes just the 16th head coach in the nearly century-long history of the Aggie football program. Gould joins the Aggies after an impressive run at Berkeley, where he developed eventual NFL players such as Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen and Will Ta’ufo’ou, all of whom are contributing significantly to their football teams.
Gould’s work as the running back coach throughout the 1997-2007 seasons produced impressive results for California. The Golden Bears enjoyed their best rushing seasons in more than half a century, averaging 256.8 yards per game, while scoring a school-record 30 rushing touchdowns. Nine of the program’s top 11 individual rushing seasons, as well as six of Cal’s all time-top rushers, were under the direction of Gould.
“What made those players at Cal special was that they trusted me on what to do,” Gould said. “They allowed me to coach them extremely hard, and help them develop their talent. When I told them something wasn’t good enough, there was [no ‘ifs, ands or buts].’ They understood they needed to get better.”
Gould also served NFL internships with the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers, and was a candidate for the 2010 American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award.
As head coach, Gould made his first recruiting class an impressive one, signing 15 outstanding student-athletes to letters of intent, which include eight on the offensive side of the ball.
Have the Aggies struck coaching gold? Only time will tell, but they sure look to be heading in the right direction.
SHAUN MONCADA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.