|Born||February 11, 1938|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|Died||November 23, 2015(aged 77)|
|1957–1959||San Francisco State|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1960–1965||San Francisco State (assistant)|
|1967–1969||UC Davis (assistant)|
|1996–1998||Scottish Claymores (OC)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||4–8 (NCAA D-II playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|18 Far Western / NCAC (1971–1988)|
|College Football Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 1999 (profile)
Jim Sochor (February 11, 1938 – November 23, 2015) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the University of California, Davis from 1970 to 1988 during which time compiling a record of 156–41–5 and won 18 consecutive conference championships, then a college football record. Sochor also served as the athletic director at UC Davis from 1989 to 1991. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999.
Sochor was born February 11, 1938 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He grew up in San Francisco, California.
Sochor played quarterback at George Washington HS in San Francisco. He also played on the basketball team. He went on to play quarterback for San Francisco State from 1957 to 1959, and led them to three league championships.
Early coaching career
Sochor started his coaching career as an assistant at San Francisco State from 1960 to 1965. He then served as an assistant at the University of California, Davis from 1967 to 1969.
Sochor became the head coach at UC Davis in 1970. Following his first year there, he had a streak of 18 consecutive conference championships, from 1971 to 1988. The only other college football program in NCAA history on any division level for this remarkable streak has been Mount Union College. His overall record between 1970 and 1988 was 156–41–5, a winning percentage of .785. In conference games under Sochor, the Aggies were 92–5. He had winning streaks of 41 and 38 in conference games. His Aggies were the final poll leaders at the end of the regular season in 1983 and 1985.
He was named national coach of the year in NCAA Division II in 1983. He was the coach of future NFL quarterbacks Mike Moroski and Ken O'Brien and kicker Rolf Benirschke. He was also a mentor to several future head coaches including Dan Hawkins, Paul Hackett, Mike Bellotti, Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson, and Bob Biggs.
1982 Palm Bowl
Sochor led the 1982 Aggies to the Palm Bowl in McAllen, Texas for the NCAA Division II national football championship against the Jim Wacker-led Southwest Texas State, but lost 34–9. Aggie Quarterback Ken O'Brien had suffered leg and ankle injuries in the semi-final game two weeks before, and as a result reserve Scott Barry had to lead the offense.
Assistants under Sochor that became NFL, NCAA, or CFL head coaches:
- Dan Hawkins: Willamette (1993-1997), Boise State (2001-2005), (Colorado Buffaloes football|Colorado]] (2006-2010), Montreal Alouettes (2013), UC Davis (2017-Present)
Later life and career
Sochor served as the UC Davis director of athletics from 1989 to 1991. He served as the coach of the golf team for five years starting in 1992.
Sochor later served as the offensive coordinator of the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe for three years. They won World Bowl '96, 32–27, over the Frankfurt Galaxy during his time there. In 1984 and 1988 he served as the assistant coach in the East–West Shrine Game.
Sochor died of cancer on November 23, 2015.
- He was inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995
- He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
- He was awarded the Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Positive Coaching Alliance in 2008.
- The field at Aggie Stadium is named Jim Sochor Field.