Midseason report on Biggs’ final year

Coach Bob Biggs is too focused on the football team to be worried about what is going on around him. Entering his 20th and final year as the head coach of the UC Davis football program, Biggs has tried to deflect all the attention to the team despite all the distractions from his impending departure.
For example, during every Aggie home game, a Coach Biggs countdown is displayed on the jumbotron, reminiscing the greatest moments of his career.
“That’s surreal. I’m humbled by it but I am almost embarrassed by it at the same time because you never feel what you did was all that great,” Biggs said. “I’m appreciative that people would take the time to even consider some of those things.”
Coach Biggs has had many great memories to reminisce as indicated by his track record at the helm of the program. Biggs boasts a 143-84-1 career record, trailing only his mentor Jim Sochor as the winningest coach in UC Davis football history.
This year the Aggies have struggled to string out victories as they sit at 3-6 with two games to play. Still, coach Biggs looks at this season in a positive light.
“It’s actually been a very good season. You can’t measure a season just by wins and losses, although that is important,” Biggs said. “I’ve been very proud and pleased with the continued effort from the team just overcoming certain adversities and injuries. From a coaching perspective, I appreciate that and I know it’s difficult because things don’t always go the way you want.”
The players also realize the significance of this year and have been giving their best effort to send Coach Biggs out on the right note.

“He’s a great mentor for all of us players and his tenure is coming to a close, so we just want to get these last two wins for him and send him out right,” said senior linebacker Jordan Glass.

Sophomore running back Dalton Turay has similar thoughts.

“Coach Biggs wouldn’t want us to be playing for him — that’s the last thing on his mind — but everyone’s got something on the back of their mind just having two games left,” Turay said.

Even Coach Biggs sometimes has to take a moment to realize that he isn’t too far from the end of the road coaching football.

“Somebody asked me how many practices I’ve had to get ready for over the past 35 years and it’s been well over a thousand, but gosh, now there are only a handful left, but I don’t sit and dwell on it.”

It is truly a wonder how Coach Biggs didn’t know how long and successful of a tenure he would have, starting with his humble beginnings as the head tennis coach and coach of the freshman team.

“The only goal I ever set for myself coming into the position was not about the wins and losses, but that I would be upfront and honest with people — and I don’t think I’ve wavered from that,” Biggs said. “The rest just took care of itself.”

Others players can attest to the character and personality of Coach Biggs.

“Coach Biggs is a great man off the field who will do anything for you. He treats the team like his children and that’s why all the players give him so much respect,” said junior quarterback Randy Wright. “He demands a lot from his players on and off the field. He is someone you can talk to about your off-the-field issues and he is someone you really want to be the face of your program.”

Another aspect where Coach Biggs’ personality and character have shone is during the recruiting process. His honesty and sincerity have made a big impact on the players before they even arrive on campus.

“I actually wasn’t thinking about playing football in college during my senior year but he gave me a call and brought me back to enjoying football a little more. His call just sparked the whole thought of playing football in college again and he made it work out for me,” said redshirt freshman kicker Brady Stuart.

Turay acknowledges his route to his spot on the team would not have been possible without Biggs at the helm.

“As a walk-on I didn’t have much contact with Coach Biggs before I got here, but that’s what makes him special. He gave me a shot, someone who he didn’t really see film on, to make the team,” Turay said.

As the season winds closer to the end, the search for the next head coach has heated up. However, one thing is for certain: The next coach will have large shoes to fill on and off the field.

JASON MIN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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