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Aggies Receive Their Big Sky Championship Rings

DAVIS, Calif. — While last fall’s UC Davis football season and its 10-3 overall record, its NCAA postseason run and its Big Sky Conference title will not soon be forgotten, the student-athletes, coaches and staff received a tangible reminder of their achievements with a special presentation of championship rings at Aggie Stadium Monday morning.

UC Davis head coach Dan Hawkins has been a part of numerous titles in his career, including four Western Athletic Conference crowns during his span at Boise State, but presenting rings at his alma mater – particularly in the presence of numerous past Aggie coaches – provided a special highlight for his career.

“This will go down in my career as one of the most blissful moments ever, and I mean that sincerely,” Hawkins said. The veteran mentor, now heading into his third season at the Aggie helm, invited former UC Davis coaches Bob Biggs, Bob Foster, Sam Young and Steve “Lou” Bronzan to the ceremony. According to Hawkins, the championships won in the 1970s through 1990s are connected to the 2018 title through such figures.

“It’s because of the Aggie tradition,” Hawkins said. “Having guys like Biggs, Foster, Sam, Lou, John Patella – there are very few people who have been connected with the whole thing for such a long time. They go back to guys like Herb Schmalenberger and Will Lotter. To see all of the things that made the Aggies successful come bear fruit in these guys, and see it all have the same result, is magical. Sometimes I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience.”

The ring has the comet-tail CA logo on the front, with the words “Big Sky Champions” upon the bezel. The name of the player or coach appears on one side, with “Aggie Pride” inscribed on the opposite panel.

Replica versions of the ring are also available to fans: as a reward for purchasing a 2019 season ticket package. Visit tickets.ucdavis.edu and follow the links to “Football Season Tickets.” Limit one ring per account, the offer stands as supply is available.

At face value, the ring serves as a wearable personalized trophy for the 2018 Big Sky championship. However, Coach Hawkins hopes it will carry deeper meaning for his student-athletes. 

“I’ve been fortunate that I have a few of these rings, but I really want them to use it as a force multiplier in their lives,” Hawkins said. “It’s not about ‘hey, we won a championship,’ but what does that mean? What were all of the things that went into it, and how can I replicate that in my life?” 

“It’s a symbol of Lou and Biggs and Foster and Jim Sochor and Fred Arp. It’s a symbol of a lot of people who did things with a certain style and a way they went about their business. I want [the players] to think about what it means in their lives and how it came about. That’s where it will mean something.”