“Coach Hawk” is currently in his third year as the Head Football Coach of UC Davis.

Dan guided the FCS program to the 2018 Big Sky Championship and the program to its first ever FCS playoff appearance, making it to the national quarterfinals. He was awarded the both the 2018 Big Sky coach of the year, and the 2018 Eddie Robinson FCS national coach of the year. A veteran American Football coach of over 35 years, he has coached at every level of gridiron from youth through professional American football. After Boise State Hawk had stints as a head Coach at the University of Colorado, and professionally with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.  Coach Hawk also served years as a color analyst for ESPN college football, traveling the country commentating, watching, learning, and evaluating many American football programs. He is proud of his 37 years of marriage to his soul mate Misti, his four adult children, and his spectacular eight grandchildren, all under 10. Hawk has climbed to Everest Base Camp, walked the 750 km Camino de Santiago in Spain, swam with the great white sharks and whale sharks, and skydived.

Dan Hawkins table of contents 

  • 4:05 Dan shares the mental toughness required of a coach. 
  • 5:51 “Must be able to keep your feet on the fire.”
  • 7:20 “Being open to learning.” How Dan has changed through years of coaching.
  • 8:53 Dan notes how the world of football has shifted throughout the years.
  • 10:40 The importance of leaving our comfort zones.
  • 11:32 Dan shares his skydiving visualization. 
  • 17:37 Dan reflects on how a job setback benefited him in the long run.
  • 18:14 Dan describes how he overcame a difficult time in his career.
  • 19:50 Questions Dan asked himself to move forward.
  • 22:58  Dan on advice he would give to other coaches.
  • 26:11 “It’s all about raising the bar.”
  • 27:05 How Dan is able to make adjustments along his route toward success.
  • 30:30 Dan shares his thoughts on specific game strategies.
  • 32:06 “It’s about playing to win.” 
  • 33:27 How his athletes play with high energy the entire game.
  • 35:58 Dan highlights the importance of positive feedback in coaching.
  • 37:06 Dan describes his hinge moment.
  • 41:06 Dan shares how he uses his setbacks as a way to guide his athletes through difficult situations.
  • 43:12 The role that parents play in an athletes’ development.
  • 46:19 How he works with parents on being the best support for their kids.
  • 49:05 When Dan learned to come up with his own solutions to the problems he faced.
  • 51:03 “Life’s not fair and neither is football.”
  • 53:07 Dan’s ultimate advice to parents on failures in sport.
  • 56:03 Dan shares what drives him the most, and what defines a winner.
  • 59:25 Winning a championship is about the process, not the outcome.
  • 1:01:35 “Why don’t you just become the Super Bowl?”
  • 1:02:27 Dan notes how crucial it is to get the best out of each other.
  • 1:04:17 “Everybody wants a sense of power.”
  • 1:07:20 Dan shares a story on ensuring his players have a high sense of competency. 
  • 1:08:38 “It’s about culture over scheme, and it starts with relationships.”
  • 1:10:43 The question Dan always asks his players.

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Dr. Rob Bell


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