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Honoring a Coach, Saluting Our Heroes

By Dateline Staff on November 15, 2016 in University

Quick Summary

  • Causeway Classic football Saturday starts with the Kickoff Street Party, open to all
  • Coach Jim Sochor statue to be unveiled in pregame ceremony outside Aggie Stadium’s main gate
  • The day also belongs to first responders and military personnel, including UC Davis Army ROTC cadets

A statue of the late coach Jim Sochor, who pioneered Aggie Pride, will be unveiled at Aggie Stadium before the last football game of the season, this Saturday (Nov. 19). It’ll be the 63rd annual Causeway Classic, the UC Davis-Sacramento State match-up in which Sochor went 18-1 as head coach.

The bronze statue is just outside the stadium's main gate. The Sochor likeness gazes toward the stadium's Jim Sochor Field, named in his honor when the stadium opened in 2007.

Sochor, who died last November at the age of 77, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame after amassing a school-record 156 wins from 1970 to 1988. His tenure at UC Davis helped turn the Aggies into an NCAA Division II power and included the first 19 of the program’s record 37 consecutive winning seasons.

 Jim Sochor statue unveiling poster.The statue is by Lisa Reinertson, who also sculpted the statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in King Hall, home of the School of Law.

Coach Sochor’s grandson, Dylan Johnson, will pull the cover off the new statue in a ceremony set to begin at 11:30 a.m. The program also includes remarks by Ralph J. Hexter, interim chancellor; Kevin Blue, athletics director; Bob Biggs, former head football coach; and members of the Sochor family. The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! will play before and after the ceremony.

The party, the heroes, the game

The Kickoff Street Party starts at 10 a.m. in front of the stadium’s main entrance and in the westbound lanes of La Rue Road adjacent to Aggie Tailgate Field, and "A Salute to Heroes” theme will run throughout the day, just on the heels of Veterans Day.

The program honoring military personnel and first responders includes free admission for anyone in uniform. A UC Davis fire engine will be on display at the Kickoff Street Party, and, inside the stadium, you’ll find a World War II-era Jeep and accompanying props at a photo booth.

UC Davis Army ROTC students, who are being sworn in Saturday, will be recognized on the field.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tickets are available online; by phone, 530-752-AGS1 (2471); or in person at the UC Davis Ticket Office at the north end of Aggie Stadium (open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday).

The Causeway Classic is the season finale for UC Davis and Sacramento State in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets are 2-5 in conference play, the Aggies 1-6; both teams have 2-8 overall records.

UC Davis leads Sacramento State in wins, 44-19, including an NCAA Division II playoff game in 1988 (won by the Hornets).

Whatever happens in the game this year, the Aggies already claimed victory in the ninth annual Causeway Classic Blood Drive, taking a 5-4 lead in the series.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or dljones@ucdavis.edu. Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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