Football: Is Sonny Dykes the candidate du jour?

The chatter coming out of Ruston, La., is that Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes has perhaps met with Cal about the Bears’ coaching job, maybe been offered a job.

And some or all of it may be true. But we have no firm confirmation.

Neither Dykes’ father, former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, nor his wife was willing or able to confirm any of it Saturday afternoon.

The rumors seemed to take on a bit more credence in the wake of North Carolina State hiring Northern Illnois’ Dave Doeren as its new coach. Dykes, whose Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring, was known to have interviewed late this week with N.C. State, before the school quickly changed gears on Friday.

One report suggested the Wolfpack wasn’t offering enough. Is that because Dykes withdrew in favor of more discussion with Cal?

“I have not talked to talked to Sonny since Tuesday,” his dad said in a phone interview. “I’m flattered he might even be considered.”

Kate Dykes, Sonny’s wife, said her hushand has been on the Louisiana Tech campus all weekend, hosting recruits. She said she wasn’t aware that Sandy Barbour or anyone representing Cal had been in town.

Asked if her husband has been offered a job by Cal, she said. “I don’t think so . . . if they have, I don’t know about it.”

Spike Dykes said his son enjoyed his time as offensive coordinator at Arizona.

“They were one play away from going to the Rose Bowl when Oregon beat them,” Spike said. “He loved the Pac-12. That’s a great conference.”

Asked if his son would be interested in Cal, if offered a job, Spike Dykes said, “I would think so. Who wouldn’t be in this business? It’s a great job, a great conference.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Mike leach is his mentor. Enough said. Not my guy. One of the few guys on my no way in heck list.

  • Juancho

    This georgia qb just kevin rileyd. Wow.

  • wehofx

    McI, W Taggert and DeRuyter(sp)/Fresno hc all seem like better choices than dykes. Don’t get it but remember there is so much agenda driven hype being thrown out by agents, schools and coaches it’s truly hard to tell fact from fiction this early in the game.

    Even though some female version of r gorcey from oregon reported c petersen isn’t interested in Cal hc, it feels like we’re still in the running.

    Go Bears! Beat Wisconsin!

  • Kevin

    I don’t think a Sonny Dikes-style team, high scoring, poor defense, can win championships.

  • 1brsfan

    @Juancho- more like Georgia WR Riley’ed. He never should have caught the ball.

  • Juancho

    They all did i suppose.

    Coach should have told them to spike it.

    Qb should not have thrown a comeback pass with that little time.

    Wr should have batted it down.

    Easy for me to say though from my recliner.

  • Juancho
  • Eric

    I like Dykes. La. Tech is a backwater; every good recruit goes to LSU or another SEC school. And West Coast kids love high powered offenses (see Oregon).

  • Juancho

    Eric his defenses have been awful.

    Hes never recruited in california.

    La tech was a better program to inherit than san jose, utah st, western kentucky.

    And hes an also ran wit leach and rich rod in the conference.

    Id a million times take hue jackson over dykes.

  • Juancho

    Nc state passed on dykes.

    So is cal less than nc state in terms of expectations ?

  • Juancho

    Louisiana tech 120 out of 120 in total defense.

    No way dykes is a good choice.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The Spread? Seriously? I’ll be overwhelmingly disappointed if Cal goes to the spread. It’s video game football. Cal’s days as running back U would be over. Really. You don’t see championship teams that run the spread. They put up numbers, but being one dimensional is a fundamental philosophical mistake.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Oh, and I missed a good game, huh?

  • Juancho

    Give the job to gould over this spread and no defense no CA experience nonsense.

  • Juancho
  • The Wisdom Cow

    I am sinking into depression over the possibility of going to the spread. It’s an offense for desperate teams forcing a mismatch. You have no ability to run time off the clock consistently when you need to. You can never simply overpower another team. A good defense will get opportunistic turnovers with their dime package off of most tipped balls.

    I want to keep at least a semblance of the pro-set, which also aids recruiting players hoping to go pro, but the spread is the absolute last thing I want. I’d take the pistol, heck, even a classic option offense, over the spread, presuming such a coach would also value tough defense.

    Defense wins championships, not the spread.

    I really hope Sandy is smart enough to know that all the numbers are hollow. They can be spun for press clippings, but won’t win against a good team. Balance on offense matters.

  • The Wisdom Cow


    . . . #107 in time of possession, and we have watched what happens to even a very talented defense when they have to be on the field too much for the past 3 years. Cal is #105, by the way.

  • The Wisdom Cow


    More to the point, notice the time of possession for the Pac 12 teams trying the spread. WSU is 112, AZ is 118.

    It doesn’t win games against good competition with any consistency, and Pac 12 defenses are getting better than what his 2009 AZ offense faced.

    Let this go away as a bad rumor, please.

  • Juancho

    Goid point wisdom. Dykes is the guy on the short list id be most unhappy with.

    Not a fan.

  • Eric

    What is the time of possession for Oregon?

  • Eric


  • Eric

    Our problem has not been defense the last 5 years. It has been offense.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Eric, and yet Oregon CAN run when they need to. Recall the game last year when they ate the clock to close it out against us, with the tired D unable to stop them.

  • Juancho

    Oregon is in the pac 12. Louisiana tech is dead last in defense in a bad conference.

    Dykes isnt a new up and comer. Hes a rehash from the texas techteam that killed cal.

    Nc state said no thanks.

  • Larry

    How about the De La Salle coach Bob Ladoucuer (sp?)

  • Eric

    Oregon hired Chip Kelly, who was just a D-1AA assistant coach at New Hampshire, before hired as the heir to Belloti. How did that league stack up to the Pac-10/12? In 2005, New Hampshire had the second best offense, and the #91 defense in D-1AA. Team went 11-2.

    Stanford hired Jim Harbaugh from Univ. San Diego in that top-notch Pioneer League (good in b-ball, not so good in football).

    I don’t know Dykes in the right call, but I’d interview him. La Tech lost 3 games this year – at SJ Jose State, Utah State (in OT), and Texas A&M (59-57).

    It pays to take chances with creative guys.

    The fact that NC State said no thanks is probably good evidence that he is a good hire. NC State has quite the track record of going for bigger names only to screw it up.

    But what do I know? The Moron has labeled me as possessing “infantile football knowledge” (before I completely slapped him around on Marquis Lee, Matt Barkley, and the Heisman statistics) and I only joined the Fire Tedford bandwagon in 2008.

  • Juancho

    Kelly and harbaugh were “new” up and comers.

    Dykes was the guy running the show with leach at texas tech, then the o coord at arizona. The comparison to kelly and harbaugh isnt analogous. That comparison should be taggart or doerden from n illinois.

    And harbaugh did it at sdsu in california. With a coaching pipeline in the state bc of his raiderspast.

    I dont think dykes is the guy. I agree he should get an interview. I think we might as well have kept tedford and saved the miney if we get dykes.

  • Eric

    Harbaugh was the HC at Univ of San Diego, not SDSU. Perhaps you are thinking of Brady Hoke.

    And Harbaugh made his coaching bones at Western Kentucky, under his dad.

    And it is analogous. We need creative offense. Both Harbaugh and Kelly were creative offense guys (though in completely different ways).

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The spread is not innovative, Eric. That is my problem with him, and it is a deal breaker for me. There are significant flaws with the paradigm.

    Kelly’s spread option does not deserve to even be compared to the spread in any way. He uses 6 men on the line, utilizing the TE in a way that forces the D to guess run or pass before every snap.

    The spread can rack up yards. Yet, even aside from the lack of a running game, it has real problems inside the 10 yard line, and that is even when the refs are NOT flagging WRs for picks. Should they decide to pay the slightest attention to WR picks, the offense would become near impotent in the red zone.

    I have no problem with a coach that runs a few series with it, but as a base offense, no way. I mean, at least with a solid run game, a young QB can come in with a chance should your starter get hurt. With the spread, you lose your QB and you are looking at 3 and outs the rest of the game.

    Granted, the spread can win in just about any game, but it does not stand much of a chance at sustained prosperity. A good defense or lousy weather and you are in serious trouble.

    In my opinion, it is the offense you install to make a poor program with lesser athletes have a chance against anyone. It is not the offense you install when you have the athletes. It is not the offense you install when you hope to make the top tier of programs on a consistent basis.

    Honestly, if I were involved in the hiring process, I’d need to know anyone that ran the spread was willing to change to something else or I would not bother with an interview. I may have loftlier asperations for the program, but I don’t see Cal doing what Stanfurd did this year with a spread offense, and I’d really like to go to a Cal Rose Bowl before I die.

  • konamike

    Sonny Dykes doesn’t work because that name doesn’t fit w/ Cal. Anybody named Sonny needs to stay somewhere in the South. Just like I thought the name Brock Manison didn’t fit. His name sounded like it belonged to a day-time soap opera star, not a Cal QB and…the quality of his play was about as good as a day-time soap opera star. As I stated in an earlier reply, why would anyone believe Sandy’s gonna’ pull in a big fish. She’s a cheer leader, not an AD. Our coaching job is a very good one but overseen by an proven, incompetent dunderhead. Additionally, she’s just as responsible as Tedford,if not more so, for our pathetic graduation rate.

  • Ray Finkle

    We will get the right fit, remember Cal hired the headhunter agency that brought coach Mac to SJSU. Be patient friends.

  • Eric


    I get what you are saying.

    Losing a QB – big issue in a spread

    Lousy weather – big issue in a spread

    Redzone TD scoring – big issue in a spread

    Great defense – big issue in the spread if it can make stops early.

    But I go back to my Oregon example. Dixon, then the dude who ran over the Okla. State safety in the bowl game, then Thomas, now Mariota. They havd injuries during that time, with Bennett filling in. That hasn’t been the issue.

    Lousy weather. Uh, Oregon, anyone?

    Lack of running game. At Oregon?

    Red zone scoring. Not an issue.

    Great defense – that has been the only hiccup. But even then, Oregon has always been close (Furd this year, Auburn in the NC, Ohio State in the Rose Bowl).

    The spread is old. It has its roots in the run and shoot from the 1980s.

    But what Chip Kelly did was innovative, namely the SPEED AT WHICH HE RUNS IT. And three straight titles and four straight BCS bowls is something I want at Cal.

    Now many college coaches are trying it, nearly every major high school program is trying it (Khalfani’s school, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, ran it. As did every other time in the Serra League). Even the NFL is has elements of it.

    My point – get someone innovative on offense, and since the spread is what is in vogue and appeals to the recruits, Dykes may be the guy. Don’t know for sure, but better than paying millions to some retread looking for redemption.

  • Juancho

    Id like to nominate the line above about brock mansion for the bear talk blog awards. That was hillarious.

  • rotfogel

    Jack Freaking Del Rio….Cal needs to hire that guy fast. He is available (well, he is an assistant with the Denver Broncos) and could be a great college coach ala Pete Carroll. That dude will be able to recruit really well I’d bet too. From Hayward too I believe.

  • gobears49

    Anyone remember the days when Cal ran Mouse Davis’ ‘run and shoot.” Didn’t really work out.

    Not sure Sonny Dykes is the guy we want, but Cal recognizes that they need an offensive guy, since it is more difficult to set up and run than a defense. Dykes is an offensive guy; his La Tech team just needed a better defensive coordinator.

    I’m surprised that I have not read one comment of Pendergast being let go. At one time he was considered a genius along with Tedford. I always thought he was pretty good, but his defense was hurt this year by injuries and, I think, a little less talent than we used to have. I really liked Chris McCain at LB this year, a possible future pro, who unfortunately got hurt, but I don’t see the talent on the defensive line like I saw in prior years.

    We used to send at least one guy to the pro’s at least every other year, but don’t see that happening in the future, especially with Tosh not around to recruit them. He really brought in some talent at that position. I’ll bet Cal’s big number of guys in the NFL is heavily weighted toward the defensive side of the ball (a possible task for Juancho)

  • ScottyBear

    IMHO it shouldn’t be the head coach’s sole fault or problem if player graduation rates decline. Just get us wins and keep us competitive. Player graduation rates, grades and academic eligibility should be the responsibility of the athletic and academic advisors whose job it is to monitor them. The head coach has enough responsibility as it is, and it’s harder than ever to stay competitive in this Pac 12. Since when does a head coach know that a player is flunking a class or not attending? He is usually 5 or 6 down the list. Enough already to focus on.

    Have you ever looked through the Cal football game day program? There are dozens of people pictured in there who work in the football/athletic department with specialized titles. Who are all these people? These are the ones who should be on top of the classroom business of academic problems. Just hire a head coach who prepares these players to kick ass. 47% is a terrible rate, but a lot of these players stay eligible long enough to finish playing their 4 years, then drop out. They are big boys by that time and if they choose to quit, it’s their business. D1 schools with very high graduation rates – you are going to tell me that is all because of the head football coach?

  • Juancho

    Lorenzo Alexander D
    Tyson Alualu D
    Bryan Anger ST
    Nnamdi Asomugha D
    Jahvid Best O
    Desmond Bishop D
    D.J. Campbell D
    Andre Carter D
    Chris Conte D
    Brian De La Puente O
    Thomas DeCoud D
    Justin Forsett O
    Scott Fujita D
    Matt Giordano D
    Tony Gonzalez O
    Nick Harris ST
    Lavelle Hawkins O
    DeSean Jackson O
    Marvin Jones O
    Cameron Jordan D
    Mychal Kendricks. D
    L.P. LaDouceur O
    Marshawn Lynch. O
    Alex Mack O
    Brandon Mebane D
    Cameron Morrah O
    Aaron Rodgers O
    Jeremy Ross O
    Mitchell Schwartz O
    Craig Stevens O
    Nick Sudberg ST
    Shane Vereen O

  • gobears49

    Thanks Juancho. Guess I’m wrong — 13 defensive guys versus 21 offensive guys.

  • gobears49

    Meant to say we used to send at least one guy to the pro’s FROM THE DEFENSIVE LINE every other year, but the talent level there seems to have dropped off and may not return without Tosh recruiting for that position.

  • wehofx

    Cal has been and should remain a pro set O.

    JF tweeted:

    Darrell Hazell of kent state is interviewing today.

    Excellent cv and big turn around at kent state. Tressel is a d bag hypocrite but his teams were tough, DISCIPLINED and banged the rock between the tackles to set up play action.

    As has been pointed out – by many inclu JF above – don’t believe the hype. Dykes people could have easily put out the Cal rumor so he’ll get leverage in his negotiations with other schools – I’m guessing his dream job is one of the 3 remaining openings in the sec.

  • gobears49

    13 defensive guys, 18 defensive guys, and one special team. Shouldn’t have any champagne in the morning.

  • gobears49


    What type of offense does MacIntype at San Jose St. run? Is he primarily an offensive or defensive specialist? We need an offensive guy. My favorite offense is the hurry up offense Chip Kelly run. Despite the Stanford loss, I think Oregon is the best team in the country, all because of Kelly.

  • Juancho

    Macintyre is a defensive guy. Runs a pro style offense at san jose. Almost beat stanford

  • wehofx

    Yeah what Juancho said. I really liked what I saw of McI’s O against Lafayette. Disciplined O line play with pulls on run plays. Imaginative. Good wr separation.

    Like I said before my only concern is complete lack of D but I only saw the 1 game. NOT a deal breaker and WAY better choice than Dykes.