Football: Kiesau returning to Cal

Cal coach Jeff Tedford announced today that Eric Kiesau is returning to Cal as the wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator. Kiesau was the Bears’ receivers coach during Tedford’s first four seasons at Cal before moving on to Colorado.

No further information at this time on just what Kiesau’s duties as passing game coordinator will entail. Kiesau replaces Kevin Daft, who was let go earlier this month. More to come (hopefully)….

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Juancho

    Well, I’m pretty happy about this hire. Shows some positive signs. Shows that Tedford isn’t afraid to more or less say “we screwed up letting this guy leave” by bringing him back. I like the hire. I like what I read it into it. Hopefully Tedford is back on the upswing. I think Tedford should call the plays, will be interested to see what “passing game coordinator” will really mean.

  • GldnBear71

    Unless JT changes the way he handles QB’s it doesn’t matter. I remain a skeptic. Happy New Year.

  • Bears

    This guy was a big part of the best passing attach I’ve ever seen at Cal.
    He made all his WR’s better. Even the walkons.
    Love the hire.
    He was an OC as a Buff and is still young with lots of football ahead of him and bigger and better things if he helps the program to the BCS.

  • Mustang Man

    I’m on the fence. We definitely had much better wr play when he was here.

    Jonathan, did Tedford do a national search and decided this was the best guy, or did he just go with what was comfortable and proven in the past? I’m hoping this isn’t like a booty call with an ex girlfriend.

    Also, why did he leave in the first place for a lateral job and what has changed?

    His high school recruiting at Cal was really hit and miss. He had 2 studs with Desean and Jordan, and got Hawkins from JC. Was he very instrumental in getting these guys, I don’t remember hearing that he was a primary reason for their choice, unlike Lupoi who is a main reason stud dlinemen are picking Cal.

    When I say hit and miss, I mean that he failed to develop any depth behind the 3 studs as evidenced by all of his recruiting misses. Looking at the Scout database, his misses include Desa, Sean Young, Stearns, David Gray, Canada, and Noah Smith. That’s lots of misses. Plus I don’t think we got anyone any good for the recruiting class before he left.

    Hopefully my concerns are completely unfounded and he proves to be a great hire.

  • southseasbear


    It was not a “lateral” job. He was promoted from a mere position coach to “WR coach and passing coordinator” at Colorado (and now has the same title at Cal).

    The “misses” you cite were not under his watch as those players were developed (or not) by other WR coaches.

    In addition to the “hits” (Jackson, Hawkins, Jordan) you omit Geoff McArthur (who went from a “miss” to one of Cal’s best all time WRs under Kiesau’s tutelage), Jonathan Makonnen, Burl Toler (a walk-on who became a stalwart at the position), Chase Lyman (tremendous talent), and Vinnie Strang (another walk-on who became a star). In addition, he developed LaShaun Ward and LaReyelle Cunningham (a walk-on who earned a scholarship but then digressed after Kiesau departed).

    The fact of the matter is that he was possibly the best WR coach we’ve had in the last 20 or more years. That position was one of the strengths of the team when he was here (which is explains why another school promoted him) but declined precipitously upon his departure. To be blunt our WRs ran precise routes and held on to the ball. What more can we want?

    This is BIG news! GO BEARS!

  • LR

    No imagination hire. EK is taking a downgrade. His new title is a mystery. Is he also the QB coach? Will there be a dedicated QB coach? What is Lud’s status given the erosion of his (nominal) responsibilities as OC? Is he the next to go (wishful thinking)?

    I’m underwhelmed. I’d like to see cutting-edge, young hires (ie, 35>). Guys who are hungry, have ideas that are on the vanguard and have no prior affiliation with Cal. Not reunion tours.

  • Bears

    As far as I can tell Kiesau is only 38 years old. That’s pretty darn young for a guy that’s already been an OC at a major university. He’s a good coach and good recruiter. He still must produce and prove himself and if he does he will continue to move up the coaching ranks either at Cal or somewhere else.
    The hire is a good one on paper but results are what matters and we’ll see what happens from spring practice to the 2011 season.
    Go Bears!

  • David

    Shane Vereen has declared for the NFL. Good Luck, Shane!

  • Jake

    At least we may not have to deal with Harbaugh next year. Since I know JT is not a good coach, I just hope the replacement on the Farm is worse. Then we can get the Axe back!!