UC Davis Aggies football
2023 UC Davis Aggies football team
First season1915
Head coachTim Plough
1st season, 0–0 (–)
StadiumUC Davis Health Stadium
(capacity: 10,849)
Year built2007
Field surfaceSportexe
LocationDavis, California
ConferenceBig Sky
Past conferencesNCAA Independent (1915–1924)
FWC (1925–1982)
NCAC (1983–1992)
AWC (1993)
Division II independent (1994–2002)
Division I-AA independent (2003)
GWC (2004–2011)
All-time record486–372–35 (.564)
Bowl record0–5 (.000)
Conference titles31
RivalriesCal Poly (rivalry)
Sacramento State (rivalry)
Chico State (defunct)
Humboldt State (defunct)
San Francisco State (defunct)
UCSB (defunct)
ColorsYale blue and gold[1]
Fight songAggie Fight
MascotGunrock the Mustang
Marching bandUC Davis Marching Band

The UC Davis Aggies football team represents the University of California, Davis in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The football program's first season took place in 1915, and has fielded a team each year since with the exception of 1918 during World War I and from 1943 to 1945 during World War II, when the campus, then known as the University Farm, was shut down.[2] The team was known as the Cal Aggies or California Aggies from 1922 to 1958 when UC Davis was called the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture.

UC Davis competed as a member of the NCAA College Division through 1972; from 1973 to 2003, the Aggies competed as an NCAA Division II program. In 2004, UC Davis promoted its football program to the Division I FCS (then I-AA) level and joined the Great West Conference (then known as the Great West Football Conference) after one season as an independent team with exploratory status.[3] After their provisional seasons and the construction of a new stadium, UC Davis became a full member of Division I in 2007 and eligible for the postseason.

Throughout its history, the football program won 31 conference championships. Between 1929 and 1992, the Aggies captured 27 outright or shared Northern California Athletic Conference championships, including 20 in a row from 1971 to 1990, an American West Conference title in 1993 (co-champion), and GWFC/GWC championships in 2005 (co-champ) and 2009.

The Aggies won their first conference title as a Division I program in 2018 as one of the Big Sky Conference's three regular-season champions.

Conference affiliations

UC Davis has been both independent and affiliated with multiple conferences.[4]: 46 

Conference championships

UC Davis Aggies football program has won or shared a total of 31 conference championships since 1915, including 27 from the Northern California Athletic Conference where they won 20 straight conference champions from 1971 to 1990.[5]

Year Coach Conference Overall record Conference record
1929 Crip Toomey Far Western Conference 6–2 5–0
1947 Vern Hickey 4–5 3–1
1949 Ted Forbes 5–4 4–0
1951 5–4 2–1
1956 Will Lotter 7–3 4–1
1963 6–2–1 3–1–1
1971 Jim Sochor 9–1 5–1
1972 6–2–2 5–0
1973 7–3 4–1
1974 9–1 5–0
1975 7–3 5–0
1976 8–2 5–0
1977 11–1 5–0
1978 8–3 5–0
1979 6–3–1 5–0
1980 7–2–1 5–0
1981 6–4 4–1
1982 12–1 5–0
1983 Northern California Athletic Conference 11–1 6–0
1984 9–2 6–0
1985 9–2 5–0
1986 10–1 5–0
1987 7–3 5–0
1988 7–3 5–0
1989 Bob Foster 8–3 5–0
1990 7–3 5–0
1992 8–2–1 5–0
1993 Bob Biggs American West Conference 10–2 3–1
2005 Great West Football Conference 6–5 4–1
2009 6–5 3–1
2018 Dan Hawkins Big Sky Conference 10–3 7–1

† Co-champion

Playoff records

NCAA Division I-AA/FCS

The Aggies have appeared twice in the Division I FCS playoffs. Their combined playoff record is 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2018 Second Round
Northern Iowa
Eastern Washington
W, 23–16
L, 29–34
2021 First Round South Dakota State L, 24–56

NCAA Division II

The Aggies appeared in eighteen times in the NCAA Division II playoffs from 1977 through 2002. Their playoff record was 15–18.

Year Round Opponent Result
1977 Quarterfinal
Semifinal (Knute Rockne Bowl)
W, 34–16
L, 30–39
1978 Quarterfinal Eastern Illinois L, 31–35
1982 Quarterfinal
Final (Palm Bowl)
Northern Michigan
North Dakota State
Southwest Texas State
W, 42–21
W, 19–14
L, 9–34
1983 Quarterfinal
North Dakota State
W, 25–6
L, 17–26
1984 Quarterfinal North Dakota State L, 23–31
1985 Quarterfinal North Dakota State L, 12–31
1986 Quarterfinal South Dakota L, 23–26
1988 First Round Sacramento State L, 14–35
1989 First Round Angelo State L, 23–28
1992 First Round Portland State L, 28–42
1993 First Round
Fort Hays State
Texas A&M-Kingsville
W, 37–34
L, 28–51
1996 First Round
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Central Oklahoma
W, 17–14
W, 26–7
L, 26–29
1997 First Round
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Angelo State
New Haven
W, 37–33
W, 50–33
L, 25–27
1998 First Round Texas A&M-Kingsville L, 21–54
1999 First Round
Central Oklahoma
Northeastern State
W, 33–17
L, 14–19
2000 First Round
Chadron State
Mesa State
W 48–10
W 62–18
L, 48–58
2001 First Round
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Tarleton State
North Dakota
W, 37–32
W, 42–25
L, 2–14
2002 First Round
Central Washington
Texas A&M-Kingsville
W, 24–6
L, 20–27 OT

Bowl games

Bowl Date Opponent Result
Pear Bowl November 24, 1949 Pacific University (OR) L, 15–33
Pear Bowl November 24, 1951 Pacific University (OR) L, 7–25
Boardwalk Bowl December 9, 1972 UMass L, 14–35
Knute Rockne Bowl (NCAA Division II Semifinal) December 3, 1977 Lehigh L, 30–39
Palm Bowl (NCAA Division II Championship) December 11, 1982 Southwest Texas State L, 9–34

Home stadiums

Various Fields -Davis, CA and Sacramento, Ca
Moreing Field -Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Stadium -East Sacramento, CA
Capacity (20,000)

Main article: Sacramento Stadium

The stadium opened in 1928 and was initially known as Sacramento Stadium and Sacramento College Stadium.[6] ITi s now known as Charles C. Hughes Stadium (commonly referred to as Hughes Stadium)

A Street Field -Davis, CA
Toomey Field -Yolo County, CA
Capacity (12,800)

Main article: Toomey Field

Toomey Field is located on the campus of the University of California, Davis in unincorporated Yolo County, California. The Woody Wilson Track is located in the stadium and it is home to the UC Davis Aggies track and field team.[7] At the northeast corner of campus, Aggie Field opened in 1949 and was home to the Aggies' football team through 2006. The first game, on November 18, was a 12–3 victory over Chico State. The record for attendance at the stadium was set on November 12, 1977, with 12,800 for a 37–21 victory over Nevada. The Aggies' all-time record at Toomey Field was 192–86–7 (.686). The stadium was renamed in 1962 in honor of Crip Toomey, who served as athletic director at UC Davis from 1928 until his death in 1961. Toomey graduated from UC Davis in 1923 and also served as the Aggies' basketball coach and football coach from 1928 to 1936.[8] The natural grass playing field (now track infield) was aligned north-northwest to south-southeast at an approximate elevation of fifty feet (15 m) above sea level.

UC Davis Health Stadium -Yolo County, CA
Capacity (10,743)

Main article: UC Davis Health Stadium

UC Davis Health Stadium is a 10,743-seat multi-purpose stadium located on the campus of the University of California, Davis. Opened as Aggie Stadium on April 1, 2007, it replaced Toomey Field and is the home to the UC Davis Aggies football and women's lacrosse teams. Plans call for the stadium to eventually be built out to 30,000 seats.[9]

Aggie Stadium

The artificial turf playing field is named Jim Sochor Field, after their College Football Hall of Fame coach. It is aligned north-south at an approximate elevation of 55 feet (17 m) above sea level. It was known as Aggie Stadium from 2007- 2018. As part of a partnership with the UC Davis Health System, announced at the Causeway Classic Luncheon on November 15, 2018,[10] the facility was renamed UC Davis Health Stadium on August 1, 2019, for a period of 20 years. Along with this development, announced with plans for a 38,000-square-foot (3,500 m2) student-athlete performance center and practice field, and 16,000 square feet (1,500 m2) of the Bob Foster Team Center, located behind the north end zone, will be renovated. The previous venue, Toomey Field, continues as the home of the Aggies' track and field teams. The Tavernetti Bell, also known as the "Victory Bell", greets fans entering Aggie Stadium. The bell is named after Thomas Tavernetti (1889–1934) and is rung once for every point scored after an Aggie victory. With the construction of Aggie Stadium, the bell followed from its previous location at Toomey Field.[11]


Sacramento State

Main article: Causeway Classic

The Causeway Classic

The Sacramento State Hornets are the natural cross-town rival who battle UC Davis annually for the Causeway Trophy. This rivalry is known as the Causeway Classic. UC Davis leads the 70 game all-time series 47–23 with no ties as of 2023.

Cal Poly

Main article: Battle for the Golden Horseshoe

Battle for the Golden Horseshoe

The Cal Poly Mustangs are another rival; these teams compete in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe each year with the winner receiving a trophy of a large golden horseshoe. Both Sacramento State and Cal Poly are designated rivals for Big Sky Conference scheduling purposes, which means UC Davis plays both teams each year as part of its conference schedule. UC Davis leads the 49 game series 27-20-2 as of 2023.


UC Davis also has a smaller rivalry with Stanford University[12] following UC Davis' 20–17 upset of the Cardinal in 2005 while still a provisional Division I team.[13]


The Aggie-Pack Battle

UC Davis and Nevada have not played each other since 2013, but have a historical rivalry dating back to the first match up in 1915 when the University Farm School Aggies beat the Nevada Sagebrushers 14-0 in Carson City, Nevada. They have played each other 54 times since.[14] The "Aggie-Pack" battle would regularly have old-fashioned rooters buses travel 146 miles (2.5 hours) down I-80 for this rivalry that was regularly "a battle for West Coast small-college supremacy … in fact, the mid-November 1977 Nevada-UCD matchup drew 12,800 fans to Toomey Field, which still stands as a home attendance record … and yes, the crowd-pleasing Aggies prevailed, 37-21 …" [15] Nevada leads the 54 game series 29-21-3 as of 2023.

Chico State

A most heated Northern California small-college rivalry That started in 1922 with 69 meetings between the two schools until 1997 when Chico State discontinued its football program. UC Davis won the series 46-20-3.[16] Both programs were vying for Far Western Conference and Northern California Athletic Conference championships every year for decades. From 1970 to 1997 UC Davis and Chico State won or shared the FWC/NCAC Conference football title 25 of 27 times.[17]

Humboldt State

The Humboldt State Lumberjacks and Aggies first met in 1935 in Eureka, CA and last met in 2011 and were rivals in the Far Western Conference and Northern California Athletic Conference and played each other 60 times.[18] The Aggies won the series 41-16-3. Humboldt State discontinued their football program in 2018.[19]

San Francisco State

The San Francisco State Gators and Aggies first met in 1937 in San Francisco, CA, a 13-7 win by the Northern Branch Cal Aggies and last met in 1994 just before San Francisco State discontinued their football program in 1995. The 'Staters'/'Golden Gaters'/'Gators' and Aggies were rivals in the Far Western Conference and Northern California Athletic Conference and played each other 51 times.[20] The Aggies won the series 33-17-1. From 1954 to 1967 UC Davis and San Francisco State combined won 10 of 15 Far Western Conference titles.

Notable games

On November 14, 1971, UC Davis defeated Cal State Hayward 30–29, where UC Davis scored 16 points in the final 44 seconds and was dubbed the "Miracle Game". After scoring on a five-play drive that included a two-point conversion with 20 seconds remaining, UC Davis recovered an onside kick. On the final play of the game, quarterback and future UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs found tight end Mike Bellotti for a 29-yard touchdown on the final play of the game with four seconds remaining. Instead of tying the score with the extra point, head coach Jim Sochor went for the win and another two-point conversion. After two false starts, Biggs completed a pass to Mike Everly to complete the comeback.[21]

The Aggies' defeated the Stanford Cardinal 20–17 on September 18, 2005, after trailing 17–0 midway through the second quarter. Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards then left the game with an injury. The Aggies scored 20 unanswered and became the first non-Division I-A/FBS team to defeat the Cardinal. The win was the Aggies' first over a Division I-A team since 1986 against the Pacific Tigers and was the first against a Pac-10 team in 65 years. It was also the second win over Stanford with the first taking place in 1932.

On October 4, 2008, Bakari Grant caught a 38-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Greg Denham against the Northern Colorado Bears to win 34–30. The game was dubbed the "Hail Bakari" at the time.[22]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

The Aggies have two coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame,[23] and one player.

Ken O'Brien, made Division II All-America in 1982. He led the 1982 UC Davis Aggies football team to a 10-0 record in the regular season. In the NCAA playoffs, the Aggies beat Northern Michigan 42-21 and North Dakota State 19-14 before losing in the championship game to Southwest Texas State 34-9.

Sochor became the head coach at UC Davis in 1970 after being an assistant coach since 1967. He had a streak of 18 consecutive conference championships, from 1971 to 1988 (15 outright, three shared). The only other college football program in NCAA history at any division level with a longer streak has been Mount Union College. His overall record between 1970 and 1988 was 156–41–5, a winning percentage of .785. In conference games under Sochor, the UC Davis Aggies were 92–5. He had winning streaks of 41 and 38 in-conference games. His Aggies were the final poll leaders at the end of the regular season in 1983 and 1985.

He was named national coach of the year in NCAA Division II in 1983. He was also a mentor to several future head coaches including Dan Hawkins, Paul Hackett, Mike Bellotti, Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson, Mike Moroski and Bob Biggs.

Sochor led the Aggies to 3 of their 5 Bowl games, the 1982 Palm Bowl in McAllen, Texas for the NCAA Division II national football championship against the Jim Wacker-led Southwest Texas State, 1977 Knute Rockne Bowl for the 1977 NCAA Division II football season semifinal, and the 1972 Boardwalk Bowl. He also lead them to the 1983 Division II Semifinal.

In 1973, Mike Bellotti started his career in football coaching at his alma mater as an assistant coach under College Football Hall of Fame coach Jim Sochor.[24]

College Football Hall of Fame
Name Position Year Inducted Ref
Ken O'Brien QB 1979-1982 1997 [25]
Jim Sochor Head Coach 1967-1991 1999 [26]
Mike Bellotti Assistant Coach 1973-1976 2014 [27]

National Award Winner

Eddie Robinson Award
Year Name Position
2018 Dan Hawkins Coach

The Eddie Robinson Award is awarded annually to college football's top head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). It was established in 1987.

AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year
Year Name Position Division
1999 Mike Moroski Assistant Coach Division II
NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award
Year Name Position
1989 James Tomasin
1991 Michael Shepard

Notable players

Main article: List of UC Davis Aggies in the NFL Draft


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  2. ^ "UC Davis Magazine". Ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  3. ^ "UC Davis to Join Division I Big West Athletic Conference". UC Davis. March 11, 2003. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). ucdavisaggies.com. UC Davis Athletics.
  5. ^ "California-Davis Championships". Cfbdatawarehouse.com. Archived from the original on 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
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  14. ^ "UC Davis Football 2015: Team Information Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-08.
  15. ^ "Bob Dunning: Reno paper takes swipe at UCD football".
  16. ^ "UC Davis Football Records Book" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Bob Davies: Chico State football was part of past".
  18. ^ "UC Davis Football Records Book" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Bob Dunning: Goodbye, old friend Humboldt State".
  20. ^ "UC Davis Football Records Book" (PDF).
  21. ^ "Remembering UCD's Miracle Game". The Davis Enterprise. November 3, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  22. ^ "Interception ends UC Davis rally as Aggies fall 27-21". The Sacramento Bee. November 1, 2014.
  23. ^ Hall of Fame. "Inductees by College". CFBHOF. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  24. ^ "UC Davis: UC Davis To Kick Off 2008 At San Jose State". NCAA.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Kenneth John O'Brien, Jr". cfbhall.com. Retrieved 2023-04-06.
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