• aggie6thman
    Davis, CA – The past week has been a roller coaster ride of emotion for UC Davis athletics. Athletic Director Kevin Blue hired Aggie football alum Dan Hawkins, UC Davis men’s water polo competed in the NCAA championships, and the women’s basketball team competed against national powerhouse Stanford.

    Lost in the excitement was a radio interview on KTIK’s Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater and the Aggies’ newly hired head football coach Dan Hawkins, an interview that was initially discovered by posters on Aggie Sports Talk. Hawkins, once the head coach at Boise State and still owns a house in Idaho, discussed the future of UC Davis Football. In a wide ranging interview that includes the process that brought him back to UC Davis, an increase in assistant salaries, and Mark Helfrich being fired at Oregon, Hawkins dropped a bombshell.

    When asked by KTIK host Jeff Caves what “resource increase (Hawkins) could expect for the 2017 season,” Hawkins had this to say: “…(UC Davis) is trying to raise about $30 million to put a football facility at the stadium of which we got a $5 million gift today […]” He continued to praise UC Davis’ academic standing and how the university deserves a national championship football program.

    When pressed on whether or not the university led with their newfound commitment to athletics when offering him a position or if he asked for expanded resources, Hawkins said that it was a mixture of the two. “It was a little bit of both. It really was, it was sort of a mutual agreement…Kevin Blue led with that information.” Hawkins stated that in order to get first class athletes to come to UC Davis, the university must have first-class facilities and staff.

    If the $5 million gift and $30 million project are correct, it would be a colossal shift from the way the department has operated. For years under Greg Warzeka and Terry Tumey, the department has not developed a tradition of giving or shown a commitment to raise money from donors. One trip to the Team Aggie tent prior to a football game will reveal a small, tight knit group of donors who have generally been attending Aggie athletic contests for six decades. Missing from the tent are young alums, those who have the ability to donate to the university for the next six decades.

    The department did however receive two six-figure donations to assist in building facilities, one from Ted Schaal ($1 million for the aquatic center) and another from football alum Bruce Edwards who donated $2 million for “Aggie Stadium’s maintenance and operations and may be used for future enhancements or expansion.”

    The on campus field hockey facility opened in 2014 next to the dairy after funds came from a variety of funding sources. Shortly after work at the field hockey facility began, Tumey announced La Rue Field, the home of Aggie softball, would receive a multi-million dollar facelift that would was marketed as more of a complete rebuild. According to the Davis Enterprise, La Rue Field would receive, “stadium lights, covered bullpens, upgraded seating with a capacity of at least 500, a new scoreboard, press box and permanent concession stand and restrooms” in time for the following season.

    After Tumey was released in 2015, interim athletic director Teresa Gould told the Davis Enterprise that the stadium renovation would not be happening in 2016 but still remained on the department’s wish list. Her comments made it seem like Tumey spoke about the renovation before acquiring the funds necessary to complete the upgrades.

    During Hawkins’ interview with KTIK, he specifically mentioned that the $30 million building will be used for the football program, but a building that large would almost certainly be used for more than just football. Since the opening of Aggie Stadium in 2007, the athletic department has seen all but track and field move to the southwest corner of central campus. The majority of coach’s offices are located in Hickey Gym, on the other side of campus, making it difficult for coaches to take recruits to facilities and adding travel time during the season. The addition of a new facility would satisfy a dire need by moving offices out of Hickey Gym closer to the playing fields.

    An expansion of Aggie Stadium has been in the planning stages for quite some time. On the athletic department’s website, Aggie Stadium is listed as having plans for “an eventual build-out to as many as 30,000 (seats).” The stadium was billed as a three phase project. The first being the initial build, the second phase would include an athletic training room, weight room, administrative offices and seating capacity, while the third phase includes the full build out to 30,000 seats.

    When emailed about the alleged $5 million donation and $30 million upgrade to Aggie Stadium, outgoing Assistant Athletics Director and football Sports Information Director Mike Robles stated that the athletic department does not disclose the name or names of donors and that the department’s feasibility study is in its early stages.

    If the numbers quoted by Hawkins are true it would be a huge shot in the arm for UC Davis Athletics. When will the athletic department release their plan? Aggie fans are waiting with bated breath.
  • CA Forever
    Good write up as always 6th! (Y)
  • movielover
    Have we ever learned if we still have the $2 million lead gift from Mr. Edwards? That is key.
  • aggie6thman
    Good question, the new turf that was installed in June 2015 was paid for out of a stadium maintenance funded by the FACE initiative and not via Edwards' donation. That money might have been sitting in a bank account waiting for the right time. The $7 million ($2 million from Edwards and the new $5 million donation) would be more than 20% of the total cost for the new facility Hawkins mentioned.

    Link to UCD press release regarding new turf
  • movielover
    $2 Million, plus Interest ... A possibility may be that any donation requires matching funds... i.e., you get the $5 Million on the condition that you raise another $5 Million ... creates the big Mo (Momentum) and urgency.

    Interesting thoughts ... is it possible that Terry Tumey was going to use Edwards $2 Million gift towards the softball complex (3.5 Million)? ... a day or two later articles appeared locally with the baseball coach pitching lights and covered batting cages, so it sounded like we were rolling ... was Tumey playing games with these announcements?... it seemed half baked ... then Interim AD Teresa Gould comes in, and after a few months pulls those plans... is it possible that she felt the funds might be more appropriate directed towards a certain grid sport?

    If true, I really hope it is a facility that benefits all ICA.
  • movielover
    From 2005: "Phase II may not expand seating capacity much, but might include two lighted practice fields, a strength and conditioning center, and a new headquarters for the athletic department. That name can be bought for $5 million."

  • aggie6thman
    Phase II and III have been moving targets both to date of completion and what they entail. The project has undergone so many revisions and apparently there is another one going on right now. Who knows what they will look like!
  • ucdavisaggie05
    The train is rolling - let's post some preliminary schematics and get the community even more excited about recent developments!
  • movielover
    Will the 3rd redo of the Memorial Union get it right? Oh those nonfunctional spirit chimes and grassy hills at the entryway... Has anyone seen the construction project recently?
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