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Dan Ariola

Head Coach

Sac-Joaquin Section
Division I Champions


Dan Ariola’s background is deeply rooted in Davis.

A California transplant at age 12, Ariola played basketball and baseball (under legendary HOF coach Ralph Rago) at Davis High (Class of 1980) and one year at UC Davis under Phil Swimley (another legendary coach). 

In 1996, he took over the Davis High baseball program after coaching the JV team for several years. During that time, he’s posted a 377-198-5 career record, while winning three Sac-Joaquin Section Division I titles in 2000 and 2004 (when Rago served as assistant coach), and this year.

His Blue Devils charged through the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Division I North playoffs, interrupted only by a loss to Elk Grove, and they stormed back in the following game to take the “City Championship.” The following weekend Davis went down to Stokcton’s Klein Family Field and took two out of three from St. Mary’s of Stockton to claim the school’s third section title under Ariola. 

One could argue, this year’s Davis Blue Devils team included a bunch of over-achievers. The nucleus has been playing together since Davis Little League, when as 9-10 year old All-Stars they won the state of California. Says Ariola, “They play together as a group. Great team players. They’re committed to the program, including our summer and fall programs. They have some talents and always come out and play hard.” 

Asked what typifies the Davis program and Ariola quickly ticks off three factors: “Number one, pitchers throw strikes. Play team defense. And we fight and compete at the plate. I only want the toughest, most competitive kids to step in the batter’s box.” 

John Ariola with Davis head coach and his father, Dan. 

Davis, Ariola concedes, is not your typical community and in many ways that benefits the baseball program. “We have lots of community support, a strong Little League program. And we have only one high school, so we pretty much get everyone in the community.”

This season has been an especially poignant one for the head coach, who says goodbye to son John Ariola, who completed his third year on the Blue Devils varsity and heads off to American River College next year. 

But not before helping out Dad with the Davis’ summer program. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

And the Ariola tree is firmly rooted in Davis.

Uploaded 6/8/14
All contents © Rick Cabral 2014