Column: Eureka

When Bob Biggs announced that he would retire from coaching at UC Davis back in December 2011, the search had begun.

The Aggies embarked on a unique journey in which they would be searching for an Athletic Director whose first task would be to help find a football coach.

Step one: Terrance Tumey, in July, was given the position of Director of Athletics of UC Davis and with it, the job of heading the crew that would find someone to succeed Bob Biggs.

Step two: Football season. With Biggs at the helm of UC Davis football for the last season, it was a testing time for the Aggies. By the numbers, it was ugly. But given the new strong conference and the pressure of Biggs’ departure, it wasn’t half bad. In fact, there were several showings that were encouraging. Attractive, even, for someone looking at the vacancy that would be at the end of the season.

Close games against some of the top teams in the FCS and a victory over rival Sacramento State display the potential of the program that a coach could be looking for.

Now that I’ve given the un-simplified, extensive and inclusive rundown of the process, we arrive at our end result: UC Davis has struck Gould.

Ron Gould, the former running back coach for California, will travel up to Davis. And things are looking bright.

First off, I’m just glad this didn’t turn into a year-long search, as did the quest for a new athletic director. Yes, we do want the whole process to be thorough, but the whole fiasco with athletic director took way longer than expected.

Gould was announced as the head coach of UC Davis football on Dec. 17. This was exactly one month to the day of Biggs’ last game, a 34-27 victory over Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic.

The committee that was selected consisted of various associates of UC Davis who had been on a search for someone to pick up what Biggs was leaving after 20 strong years with the Aggies.

The whole process was kept rather quiet, though, as rumors floated around and UC Davis waited.

Thank the football gods that UC Berkeley fell apart in the second half of the season. Gould was part of the coaching staff that left when Jeff Tedford was let go by the Bears.

Now, I’m not sure what the whole search committee was doing before all of the Berkeley coaches entered the market, but once Gould was free game, UC Davis seemed to swoop in — almost as if the committee could have just relaxed for the many months, sat up and found Gould at the front door.

Either way, Gould will be a good fit at UC Davis. Seeing the players that have passed under his wing recently, the Aggies may have found the boost they’ve been looking for.

Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen are notable names that all boost Gould’s impressive 16-year campaign at Cal. Those that have talked about him have had kind words regarding his coaching and mentoring.

Here at UC Davis, there is a strong emphasis on tradition. Seeing that Biggs was here for 20 years, and there were only two other head coaches in the past 40 years, Gould is aware of the role he’s stepping into.

The Aggies have struggled on the ground in the recent past, so Gould will definitely have a strong effect on the rushing game, hopefully rounding out the offense that was heavily outrun last season.

The Aggies got most of their rushing yards from sophomore Colton Silveria, whose 621 yards led the team. Gould and whoever is on staff will probably foster this talent, providing a supplement to the UC Davis passing game.

It’s exciting to see where Gould will go. He appears to be a good fit right now, and though he is coming from a much larger program at UC Berkeley, it looks like he understands the sort of ship that operates here at UC Davis. Plus, I’m guessing this past season with the Bears was somewhat humbling.

UC Davis could be renamed the 49ers, having struck Gould and all. And with that, there are enough embarrassing puns. Keep watch over UC Davis’ football program.

Bob Biggs was a legendary and influential man in UC Davis football and should not be forgotten. As we move forward, Gould will build on the foundation Biggs laid. Good luck, Mr. Gould. Adventure is out there.

MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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