Photo: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

5 Things To Know About Dan Hawkins

May 30, 2017 | Sports, Spring/Summer 2017

Dan Hawkins’ career came full circle in November when he returned to his alma mater, taking over as head coach of the UC Davis football program. Hawkins ’84 was a fullback on the 1982 Aggie team that went to the NCAA Division II championship after winning the 12th of what would eventually reach a record 20 consecutive conference titles. He was then part of the staff the following three seasons under legendary coach Jim Sochor. Over the years, Hawkins made several stops, including Boise State, as an innovative and progressive head coach.

He’s been a science teacher.

After his first coaching stint at UC Davis, Hawkins took a job at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, coaching football and teaching science. “The great thing about getting a degree from Davis is by the time you graduate you have so much science you are naturally a science teacher,” he said. “Coaching is good teaching.”

He’s coached football in 11 different countries.

His first trip overseas was to coach in Australia, and Hawkins went on to positions in the Canadian league and in Europe, taking him to Sweden, Germany, Austria and more. “It makes you a better teacher, a more complete teacher. You understand how much you don’t know,” he said of the experience.

He loves music.

Hawkins said he likes all genres. “If I dropped my iPod, you’d have no idea the demographic of the guy who dropped it because I have rap, country, classical, opera,” he said. “But if I was stranded on a desert island I’d go with Van Morrison — not the popular songs, but the jazz/blues.”

He’s jumped out of an airplane.

Hawkins’ daughters challenged him to do it. “I really believe that to make any gains, to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone, so I look for those opportunities,” Hawkins said. “I’m not deathly afraid of heights, but I don’t particularly like them. It was great for my spirit.”

He is a father of four grown children and a grandfather to seven.

“There are two things in life that are infinitely more intense than anyone could ever describe — one positive and one negative. The positive is being a grandparent,” he said. “The painful one is kidney stones.”