Football: Sonny Dykes lands the job


Just hours ago, Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour told me, “We’re real close. Real close”

Barbour got her man Wednesday, with the news that Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes will be hired as Cal’s new football coach.

A source very close to Dykes confirmed to me he is coming to Cal.

“I did talk to him and he did confirm to me he was going to take the job,” the source said in a phone interview. “The reports are correct.”
Asked about Dykes’ demeanor just before going into a meeting with his players, the source said, “He seemed a little conflicted, but I think he’s excited. This place will be dear to him because it was his first head coaching job. One of his children was born here. I think (Cal) is going to get a real good coach.”
Click here for this developing story.

While Dykes operates a prolific offense that led the nation in scoring this season, a key for him will be assembling a strong defensive staff. La Tech was last in the nation in total defense this season.

There was no immediate player confirmation of the hire, and Cal officials were mum.

Cal defensive back Avery Sebastian tweeted, “Sonny dykes ok let’s ride.” But two other players said they hadn’t yet been told anything.

I talked with Cal associate head coach and running backs coach Ron Gould, who was in Los Angeles recruiting Wednesday, and he said he got the news from a couple coaches down there.

Gould had been told nothing officially about a new coach, but was instructed to cut his recruiting trip short and return to campus.

Jeff Faraudo

  • rotfogel

    I can’t believe Cal just did that.

    Worst case scenario is actually happening. It’s like all the stars aligned and worst case scenario is becoming a reality.

    How is this happening? Why?

    Should we have fired Tedford? Sonny Dykes is not a good coach.

  • 1brsfan

    i think the players already know which is why KA declared.

  • Juancho

    Typical Cal.

  • Ray Finkle

    Honestly I feel like my life just ended

  • TrumanHugh

    KA21 was going to declare regardless of who/when the new coach was hired.

  • Ray Finkle

    I’m actually speechless and numb. Thank god for sierra celebration ipa, too bad I’m not celebrating anything.

  • go8ears

    My worst case scenario was Hue Jackson. I just couldn’t see him as a good fit. This certainly comes to me as a disappointment too but I am waiting until I know more of what they knew when they hired him and why. A solid DC might complement his offensive-styled game very well.

  • CalBearister

    Jesus Christ. Could you wait for the guy to actually suck before s__ttnig all over the decision? Was he my first choice? No. Am I an Athletic Director? No. Do I honestly think I know football better than Sandy Barbour and a headhunting firm? No. So if Dykes is the choice, than Dykes is my man until he proves otherwise. And if Sandy was wrong, trust me, she’ll lose a lot more than any of the nattering nabobs of negativism will.

    So in short, if he sucks, what else is new – he’ll join a long list of Cal coaches who have earned that distinction. But maybe he’ll be a rabbit out of the hat. Only time will tell, so take a pill all of you.

  • Ray Finkle

    GoBears, you are probably right. His D sucked this year, but so did his players on D. I guess I will be positive. Gruden!!!

  • Will

    Amen, CalBearister.

  • Ray Finkle

    I will be positive, I promise. I think

  • covinared

    Got my Sonny Head t shirt already.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    HAHAHAHAHA…Sonny Dykes!!!!!

    Mike Leach Jr

    Air Raid Lite


    You know I was going to leave this site for good if you got a Peterson here or a Diako but now I am staying just to remind you guys how good it was to have had Teddy.

    I never thought you guys would stoop this low!

    And to think you paid some search firm to find this bum.


  • shaka

    There are, but a few positives in this hire if it’s Sonny: a cool name, a recent Poinsettia Bowl appearance, an offense that scores a lot, and a new beginning, hopefully with a short honeymoon.

    BTW where’s Pendergast’s name on the Cal coaches’ roster? Is Sandy sending him a message or did he white it out?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Dykes > Tedford < Gilbertson

    Comparisons are in pounds.


  • Mr. B


    5 coaches were “returning” pending the announcement of new HC. Clancy not among the 5.


  • stay golden

    Really? You’re giving us cr@p about our coach. Next year you’ll be looking for a new one but in the meantime, Lane Kiffin?


    What a loser

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #17 – See. This is what is so hilarious. You make this total joke of a hire but you can’t get away from your USC hate.

    USC is so into your head you cant even celebrate a great hire like…what’s that guys name.

    Back to the Gilbertson days. You should have hired Ty. You will get the same results.

  • Ray Finkle

    It was awesome when Al Davis called Lame Kiffin Lance.

  • The Wisdom Cow


    Please, please, be wrong.

    I don’t want the spread. I’ll be a bitter and jaded fan for his entire tenure. It will be lemon juice in paper cuts with every poor defensive play and EVERY PENALTY! The guys’ teams don’t have any discipline! How is he going to get the grad rate up if he can’t even get the players to to focus on football?

    He’s the second coming of Dennis Erickson, the ASU version. Please, no.


    If it’s him, unlike several others, I won’t support him. I’ll be waiting for him to prove my preconceptions wrong. I’ll hope he does, but I wouldn’t bet a nickle that he CAN, let alone will.

    Please, please, Sandy, please have some misdirection set up to mess with the media after bumping into Feldman ruined your silence.

  • daredevilfan

    Hey guys, lets be positive. Every coach only works with what is in his cubboard. I’d say Dykes did pretty reasonable with his former cupboard. Now he’s got better ingredients lets get behind him and hope for a kickass stew. we’ve had NFL talent but non-innovative leadership. Let’s put the two together and make a run at it. I believe our defensive players are our strong point and thus we needed the biggest shot in the arm for offense. Let’s make sure we do our part and let’s get to the stadium and not sit around like deadbeats and actually make some noise and give ourselves a home field advantage. Ohio State game, here i come!

  • shaka

    Mahalo Mr. B, it’s a bigger mess than realized. Berserk….

  • The Wisdom Cow

    My Cal fandom feels raped.

    Welcome to the University of California, Berkeley. Fullbacks and Tight Ends need not apply, where defense is optional, and a penalty is just a way to catch your breathe while the refs walk it off.

  • stay golden


  • Eric

    Well, seems like I may be in the minority here, but I’m definitely good with this hire. The offense needed the desperate help, and it looks like we got it. D obviously is a concern, but I think it is much easier for an offensive minded HC to hire a strong D-coordinator than vice versa. And, other than Peterson, I strongly preferred a younger, hungry, innovative type over a bigger name guy looking for redemption (totally the opposite, by the way, in b-ball).

    I was in the minority for several years re Tedford, until it became the majority. Hopefully I am proven right again.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Dykes is the guy you hire as an OC, not a head coach.

    P’chinga, p’chinga, p’phuk!

  • Will

    I’m so amazed (and moreso, amused) by all the brilliant prognosticators on this blog.

  • gobears49

    I need to see how many yards the La Tech running backs gained this season. Probably not much. Will Gould stick around if there is no running game?

    Still, it was better to hire an offensive guru than a defensive one. Hope we have some money left over for a defensive coordinator. Also hope Dykes can recruit.

  • Eric

    Kenneth Dixon ran for 1,194 yards. The back up ran for 740 yards. Total stats – 521 carries for 2,726 yards, averaging 5.2 yards a carry.

  • Easy Ed

    I’m 55 years old and my bet is that I won’t see a Cal Rose Bowl in my lifetime!

  • Eric

    Here is the wikipedia entry on his tenure at La. tech, not including the 2012 season:

    Louisiana Tech

    On January 20, 2010, Sonny Dykes was hired to replace Derek Dooley as the head football coach of Louisiana Tech.[8] In Dykes’ first season, LA Tech’s record improved to 5–7 overall and 4–4 in the WAC. Dykes was one of only four of the nation’s 22 new head coaches to improve a team’s conference record from the year before. LA Tech’s offense improved in several areas of the NCAA statistical ranks including passing offense (91st in 2009 to 62nd in 2010) and total offense (66th to 52nd) while the team’s average offensive national rank improved from 65th in 2009 to 54th in 2010.

    Despite a 1–4 start in 2011, Dykes’ Dawgs rallied to win seven consecutive games to cap off the regular season with the program’s first WAC football title since 2001 and an appearance the Poinsettia Bowl. As a result of LA Tech’s success, Dykes was honored as the 2011 WAC Coach of the Year. At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Dykes signed a contract extension to increase his base salary to $750,000 and keep him at Louisiana Tech through January 19, 2017.

  • George Watson

    There is nothing else to do, but give the guy a chance. Hopefully, Dykes is smart enough to adapt to what he has.

    As for MoreNCsarecoming Says:

    What you say is nothing and you don’t say it well. At best blather, at worst pure Florida s hit e.

    You thrive on negative attention, Mr. MNC Troll, but now you are ignored. You cease to exist. Sayonara, O Immersed-in-Kiffin. This was going to be USC’s best year and you got beat like a rug. Learn to live with losing. It’s you middle name anyway.

  • CalBearister

    MoronIsComing – Say what you will, but unlike Lame Kiffin (Oakland, Tennessee, $UC), Dykes has a record of success as a head coach. $UCk Oski’s Wow Wow, troll.

  • SteveNTexas

    Bearister although I really like attorneys I disagree with the attitude -“so what if he’s bad -we’ve had a long line of bad ones” One more may matter some of us are getting old and wonder if Cal will ever win a National Championship at any major sport. Its to be expected that many will complain. IF Dykes reads the complaints -the correct attitude would be to try harder and prove them wrong.

  • Boaltblue


    Start saving your Kraft Foods box tops and you might get a discount to watch your team, Underachieving Shameless Cheaters, at the Fight Hunger Bowl. Have you ever determined why your coach produced so little with so many 5 star and 4 star players? What is your explanation? Or are you too much of a coward to share your self-described “expertise” on this topic?

  • stay golden

    Positives about Dykes as a Head Coach:

    Each year at La Tech his team got better
    5-7, 8-5, 9-3

    And each year his offense got better
    2010 (#71 Total Offense, #74 Points)
    2011 (#47 Total Offense, #41 Points)
    2012 (#2 Total Offense, #1 Points)

  • Will

    “They were in great spirits and great energy,” said head coach Lane Kiffin. “It was probably one of the best practices we have had since the first day of training camp so it was great to see.”

    Hey, maybe they have a shot at beating 6-7 Georgia Tech!!!!!!

  • calbearclaw

    Are you people serious with the compulsive negativity? Sonny Dykes and his new staff will have my support as new head coach and I’m excited to see what he brings. Let’s! Go! Bears! Welcome to Berkeley Sonny!

  • calbearclaw

    What is it exactly about Dykes that is eliciting this stunning display of vitriol and negativity? The man won at La Tech. Remind me why this disqualifies him as a good head coach? This is unseemly. Give the man and his staff a goddamned chance.

  • Raf

    Juancho, all this anticipation and all i get is “Typical Cal.”? I don’t know anything about this hire, but I’m disappointed in your commenting.

  • Calbearister

    Actually, “typical Cal” is people who bitch all the time because they like to complain. Or so it seems. Anyone want Tedford back? Welcome Coach Dykes, and GO BEARS!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    You see a guy that brought offensive improvement to his teams. I see a guy who’s teams lacked discipline, leading the NCAAs in penalties AND they played no defense.

    You want me to be positive about a guy with the worst defenses and undisciplined players in the NCAA?

    Enjoy the offense. It the baseball equivalent of fat guys that hit HRs but can’t run or play defense while they strike out and make errors. One demensional.

    It’s ridiculous to think that Dykes will suddenly be able to create an atmosphere of focus and discipline. The penalties will rack up and the defenses will flounder, regardless of the DC. The head coach sets the tone.

    Prove me wrong, please, Dykes, because I won’t watch my Cal Bears become Cohan’s Golden State Warriors.

  • 1brsfan

    Lets not forget he was the OC on that T Tech team that killed us in the Holiday Bowl. We had a very good D on that team that held SC to 23 points on the road.

  • Juancho

    Screw it. My ranting is done. Im going to drink the kool aid. The sonny delight if you will. And hope for the best.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Get ready to score some points!! This is gonna be fun. Yeeee!!!!

    Bigelow will be a Heisman contender his senior season, unless he goes to the NFL early.

    Really excited to get back the swagger.

    Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    Dear Donors and Season Ticket Holders:

    I’m very pleased to share with you that Sonny Dykes will become our next head football coach. Coach Dykes, who is currently the head coach at Louisiana Tech University, will bring an exciting brand of football to Cal and, more importantly, will engage and unify our stakeholders, as we collectively look toward the future of Cal football.

    As I expressed to you a few weeks ago, this is an incredible University, one that requires a football coach who possesses important abilities and values: He must be a team-builder, a staff-builder, and a character-builder. He must be innovative. And he must understand the importance of academics, with the ability to navigate that and recruit student athletes to Berkeley who are exceptional fits for our unique environment and culture.

    The University was committed to finding a coach with these characteristics, as well as an individual with a strong vision, a clear identity for his football program, and a proven history of football success. After a tireless search, one with a relentless commitment to these expectations, I am confident that Coach Dykes is that individual. He not only embodies the unique set of characteristics we set out to find but his values also align with the broader values of this great University.

    Coach Dykes is one of the brightest offensive minds in the country, running a high-octane style of football, one that I’m certain will allow our student athletes to thrive and that our community will love on game day. However, it was far more than his history of a top-ranked offense and his proven success on the football field that solidified my decision; it was the way Sonny described his responsibility to the University at large and his commitment to creating a climate of comprehensive excellence and success for his student athletes. We discussed the unique place that Berkeley and Cal Athletics occupy in higher education, standing for both academic and athletic excellence. Above all, Sonny values the opportunity to develop relationships with and have an impact on his student athletes, staff and community.

    We discussed how recruiting student athletes that are the “right fit” for Cal would be critical to our success on and off the field. Coach Dykes has been recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country, and is certainly familiar with Pac-12 football. His tenure includes a three year stint at the University of Arizona, where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and helped lead the Wildcats to the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl and 2009 Holiday Bowl.

    I am truly excited for the next era of Cal football and would like to ask each of you to help me welcome Sonny Dykes, his wife Kate and their two daughters, Alta Carolina (Ally) and Charlotte Reese (Charlie) to the Golden Bear family!

    Go Bears!

    Sandy Barbour
    Director of Athletics

  • 1brsfan

    I’m with Juancho. Let’s get behind our team and hope for the best. Go Bears!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    WooHoo!! let the recruiting begin…who wouldn’t wanna play for this guy? He will improve on defense, no doubt in my mind. And, we will no longer watch our coach throw in the towel on 4th and 1 or 2.

    Welcome Sonny, now get to work…

    When is the Northwestern game?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Just curious, but the whole “just get a good defensive DC and it’ll be great” thing?

    Wasn’t Clancy a pretty damn good DC? Yet Cal kept getting blown out, and Tedford did coach some great defensive teams.

    I won’t drink any kool aid. I’ll be convinced only when the team proves it can play D and not commit mass penalties.

    Just the thought of the Rigsbee brothers becoming MORE undisciplined should scare the crap out of everyone.

    Defense wins championships. Why does everyone forget this as soon as a shiny toy is put in front of them? Make sure you guys don’t watch QVC, or you’ll blow all you money on gadgets.

    I honestly think I would have preferred Tedford again, with a new OC, Kline at QB, and Clancy running the D.

    And I dreaded that possibility two weeks ago.

  • daredevilfan

    Atta boy Juancho, in Kline we trust and What Would Dykes do? Let’s just trade a few of our 104,592 backup Qbs for a few JC Olinemen and some Defensive depth and we are ready to rock. 2013 will see us back to about 4th or 5th in the Pac12, and then in 2014….well I already showed all of your our 2014 RoseBowl roster a few posts back…update TBD=Dykes. GOBEARS!