Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday In The... Office?

Ryan Burns, the assistant athletics communications director at UC Davis and my officemate, works tirelessly in the desk to my left. Now that football season has begun, Ryan will likely be on the job on most Saturdays and Sundays for the next 11-plus weeks, but this is more activity than usual. With the 2011 opener taking place on a Thursday, today is effectively a Monday in the weekly routine leading up to a game. If he gets too disoriented with this odd schedule, Ryan will mistakenly set his DVR to record Modern Family on Monday, thinking it's Wednesday.

What am I doing here? UC Davis volleyball won its morning match against UNLV (3-0 sweep) and takes on tournament host Northern Colorado this evening, so I figured I would use the time between to play catch-up in the office. Consider this post a break from the usual routine of pecking away at media guides in order to furnish some loose thoughts from the Aggie backstage.

* * * * *

Steve Megargee of wrote a nice article on first-year men's basketball coach Jim Les, focusing on the experience of coaching his son Tyler. Given that Jim played seven years in the NBA and enjoyed coaching success at the professional and D-I collegiate levels, someone asked me if Tyler Les is the Aggie with the most famous father in school history. I don't think Tyler is the Aggie basketball player with the most famous father in the last decade: Justin Stearns (2000-05) is the son of John Stearns, a four-time MLB All-Star.

So who gets that title? Of all the men and women who have played an intercollegiate sport at UC Davis, who has the most famous parent?

I have to give that nod to UC Davis football alum Bob Warren. His father was Earl Warren, the 14th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the previous governor of California. Bob enrolled at UC Davis in 1954, months after his dad handed down the unanimous decision in a case called Brown vs. Board Of Education. Bob continues to volunteer on the "chain gang" at Aggie football games. With that DNA, I assume he doesn't get many disputes. I also can't imagine I'll get many for this choice, either.

* * * * *

As of this Saturday afternoon, the outer bands of Hurricane Irene have clipped the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Of course, I offer my well wishes for safety to those living in those areas, and the states to the north that continue to brace themselves.

In terms of an Aggie connection, I'm curious to see if the field hockey team bangs its trip (or parts of it) to New England this upcoming week. UC Davis is slated to face Providence (Monday), Holy Cross (Wednesday) and Bryant (Friday). According to the NOAA website, Irene will be over the Gulf of St. Lawrence by Monday, but already the system has grounded more than 1,000 flights this weekend. Keep your eyes posted on the UC Davis site for updates as the weather affects the Aggies' travel plans.

Update 9 p.m. on August 27: indeed, the field hockey trip has been postponed, with new games, dates and times to be announced shortly. So again, keep an eye on the team's home page here.

* * * * *

Women's soccer launches the 2011-12 Causeway Cup race with Sunday's game against the Hornets (1 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Stadium). The full schedule and scoreboard for the eighth-annual UC Davis-Sac State competition will not go up for a while as teams continue to iron out their schedules. However, we do know many of the matchups for the remainder of this calendar year (with sites in parentheses). At the very least, mark your calendars -- or your PDA equivalent -- with the following:

Aug. 28 - Women's Soccer (Davis)
Sept. 13 - Women's Volleyball (Sacramento)
Sept. 23 - Men's Soccer (Davis)
Sept. 24 - Men's/Women's Cross Country (Stanford)
Nov. 19 - Football (Sacramento)
Nov. 22 - Men's Basketball (Davis)
Dec. 4 - Women's Basketball (Davis)

* * * * *

Finally, two heartfelt albeit belated congratulations to recent Aggie basketball star Mark Payne. The two-time All-Big West Conference honoree signed a professional contract with CB Granada, a member of Adecco Oro of the Liga EspaƱola de Baloncesto. Payne posted the good news on his Facebook wall about a week ago, but in my profession, we generally look for official statements before saying anything. A headline reading "Mark Payne se une al proyecto del CB Granada" on the team's website solidified it for me.

Two congrats, you ask?

Yes, Payne's signing with pro ball came less than a month after his engagement to volleyball standout Melanie Adams. As I've said elsewhere, I had no interest in the Royal Wedding last spring, but I would watch every minute of this one if it ever were to take the airwaves -- Mark and Mel truly are two of my all-time favorite Aggies.

Yeah, yeah... I'm generally a junkie for knowing the stats and school records around here. But in the end, I'm all about the rings.

- Mark Honbo, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

1 comment: