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Coaching Staff


Dan Hawkins Head Coach

Director of Athletics Kevin Blue named Aggie alumnus Dan Hawkins the head football coach at UC Davis on Nov. 28, 2016.

Hawkins, who has also been a college football studio analyst at ESPN in recent seasons, brings a unique depth of experience and innovative offensive approach back to his alma mater that includes building Boise State to elite status on the college football landscape and coaching in the Big XII at the University of Colorado.

Mark Speckman Assistant Head Coach (running backs)

A veteran of prep, college and Canadian football, Mark Speckman, entering his 36th year in the profession, will serve as assistant head coach and running backs coach.

"I'm extremely excited, humbled and honored," said Speckman. "UC Davis has a great tradition, which I'm well aware of from my days in California. I've had a chance to work with Bob Foster, so I know what a class guy he is. Again, very excited."

Robert Tucker Assistant Coach (defensive coordinator)

Robert Tucker, a proven winner at the college and international levels throughout his 19-year career, is UC Davis’ new defensive coordinator.

Throughout the last three seasons as the head football coach at West Hills College and Los Angeles Valley College, Tucker’s teams posted a combined 30-3 overall record and won a bowl game each year.

Tim Plough Assistant Coach (offensive coordinator)

Tim Plough, a former UC Davis quarterback and assistant coach, returns to his alma mater to assume the role of offensive coordinator under new head coach Dan Hawkins. The 2008 Aggie graduate most recently completed his fourth season at Northern Arizona, where he mentored the Lumberjack aerial game to the country's No. 1 passing efficiency in 2015.

Plough's homecoming will mark his sixth overall season on the Aggie coaching staff. He served as a student assistant coach in 2008, then became the team's quarterbacks coach the following year. From 2010 through 2012, Plough was elevated to the position of passing game coordinator. During that span, he helped nurture Randy Wright into becoming the first UC Davis freshman to start at quarterback in a full decade.

Isaiah Jackson Assistant Coach (inside linebackers)

Isaiah Jackson, who enjoyed successful stints at West Virginia State, Sioux Falls and the International Federation of American Football, joins the UC Davis football staff as an inside linebackers coach, as announced by head coach Dan Hawkins.

"There is not a better group of people to work with -- a true balance of experience and competitive drive," said Jackson, whose arrival with the Aggies reunites him with both Hawkins and new defensive coordinator Robert Tucker. "I am enthusiastic with the opportunity to learn from Coach Hawkins and the rest of the coaching staff.

Jerry Brady Assistant Coach (outside linebackers)

Jerry Brady, most recently the co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Los Angeles Valley College, joined the UC Davis football staff as an assistant coach, and will mentor the program's outside linebackers.

Brady becomes the fourth member of the 2015 U.S. National Team staff to join the Aggies. Hawkins served as the head coach of that squad, which won the International Federation of American Football World Championship. Recent UC Davis football arrivals Robert Tucker and Isaiah Jackson also served as assistant coaches for Team USA.

Cha'pelle Brown Assistant Coach (defensive backs)

Cha'pelle Brown, who earned All-Big 12 Conference honors as a defensive back for then-head coach Dan Hawkins, reunites with his former Colorado mentor as an assistant on the UC Davis football staff. He joins the Aggies to lead the program's defensive backs.

Brown most recently finished his second year at fellow Big Sky Conference member Northern Arizona, where he served as the cornerbacks coach in 2015 then was elevated to defensive secondary coach this fall. Among his Lumberjack proteges was All-American Marcus Alford, who helped the NAU corners total three interceptions and 26 passes defensed.

Paul Creighton Assistant Coach (tight ends, special teams coordinator)

Paul Creighton joined the UC Davis football program during Winter 2014. In his role, he coaches the Aggie tight ends as well as serves as the program's special teams coordinator.

In his first season, he coached tight end Mark Martindale to All-Big Sky honorable mention accolades after catching 18 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns.

Tim Keane Assistant Coach (offensive line)

Tim Keane, who played for UC Davis from 2003-06, returned the Aggie football coaching staff in January, 2016, after two previous coaching stints with the program.

Keane returns to UC Davis after serving as offensive coordinator at the College of Idaho where he helped restart the Coyotes’ program in 2013 with former Aggie assistant coach Mike Moroski. He directed an offense that gained an impressive 4,190 total yards in just their first season in 2014 while averaging 25 points per game. The Coyotes improved on that this past season, totaling 4,514 yards and scoring 28.5 ppg.

Brandon Huppert Assistant Coach (Defensive line)

Former University of Washington player and coach Brandon Huppert has been named UC Davis' new defensive line coach, as announced on April 5, 2017.

“Brandon is an excellent young coach,” said UC Davis head coach Dan Hawkins. “He will be a tremendous addition to our staff. Having worked for Chris Petersen at Washington, he knows what Aggie Pride is all about and how we want to go about instilling that amongst the defensive linemen.”

Burl Toler Assistant Coach (wide receivers)

Once a target of Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers and most recently an assistant at Fresno State, Burl Toler III joins the UC Davis football staff as a wide receivers coach.

"There is a lot of excitement surrounding UC Davis right now and I'm thankful for Coach Hawkins and the rest of the staff for bringing me on to be a part of it," Toler said. "The program is headed in the right direction and I'm looking forward to being an integral role in the success of our young men on and off the field."

Timothy Ornelas Director of Video Services

Wes Nurse Director of Football Operations

Wes Nurse returned to the UC Davis coaching staff in early 2015 after previously coaching with the Aggies during the 2011 season. While with the Aggies that season, he coached standout cornerback Jonathan Perkins who earned All-Great West Conference second-team honors after intercepting two pass, broke up a team-high 10 passes and blocked a kick. Perkins also had 25 total tackles.

After UC Davis, Nurse went on to coach cornerbacks at the University of North Dakota – also a member of the Big Sky Conference – for two seasons. Nurse spent last season at Minnesota-Crookston where he worked with the running backs and tight ends.

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