Football: What they’re saying about Dykes

What others are saying about Cal’s hiring of Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes:

“Cal landed a great coach in Sonny Dykes. He has always been on the cutting edge offensively and is now a proven head coach. They are lucky to have him.” — Texas head coach Mack Brown

“He’s outstanding … and he’s got a great offensive mind. He knows how to go out and put points on the board. With his pedigree and his background, I think he would be an outstanding coach no matter where he is.” — ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit

“Sonny Dykes is an absolute home run hire for Cal and the Pac-12. I spent 25 years in that league as an AD and he is as prepared as anybody I have seen. Congratulations to Sandy Barbour and the entire Cal administration. He is a great coach, a great person and a phenomenal recruiter. This is as good a hire as you will see in college football this year.” — Jim Livengood, former Arizona AD and current AD at UNLV

“If you have not seen or read Sonny Dykes’ name by now, it might be time for familiarization. Dykes is quickly becoming one of the more buzzed-about names for open or soon-to-be-open coaching jobs. Yes, the college football hot stove season has arrived. I’d venture to say that Dykes is the No. 1 name to watch in this cycle of the carousel.” — Travis Haney, ESPN.com

Jeff Faraudo

  • daredevilfan

    Step 1 completed, now lets get some recruiting buzz going. He needs to get a bunch of young coaches and go on a complete recruiting blitz. CAL has become known as an NFL stockpile, but without the college wins. Now they can have it all. And we have integrity. Oh and the best education anywhere to set up for your future. Duh, pick up your CAL hat young men!

  • Ray Finkle

    Well duh, it’s not like these guys are going to say he sucks. Call me negative, call me an idiot, I know this is not a good hire. Screw Sandy.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Ray, screw you. This is a GREAT hire!! We are gonna have an exciting team and are gonna be rooted to our seats during games wondering how we are gonna score next. I like this hire all the way. Go Bears!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    To all the naysayers: would you have been happy if Cal had hired a relative unknown in Chip Kelly a few years ago??

    It doesn’t take a big name to make a program, it takes a man who is driven to succeed AND who has a certain football genius – two qualities that Dykes definitely possesses. Chip Kelly worked out at oregon, right? I think Sonny Dykes is gonna work out VERY well at Cal. Sandy took a risk, exactly what needed to be done, imho. How many empty seats will there be against Northwester? I don’t think that many.

    How excited are Zach Kline, Brandon Bigelow, Daniel Lasco, Harper/Treggs/Powe right now!!???

    Go Bears!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    And maybe Richard “the best TE in the nation” Rogers actually gets involved in the offense next season. You think Dykes is gonna ignore that beast the way Tedford did? No way. Welcome back Cal football, we have officially become relevant once again.

    Now, which recruits will we land?

  • Bobsac

    The nattering nabobs of negativity have been astonishing in their comments under earlier articles today. Unlike politics, this is not about spin. There will be a won loss record next year. There is no reason to bring out the knives before the new coach has had even one game. These guys need to have a couple of beers, relax, & put the knives away at least until next September.

  • Juancho

    Kline is a pro set quarterback. Going to the spread isnt what he chose out of high school. If he has nfl as his top goal he should consider transferring.

    This changes how we recruit at qb movi g forward. Which is fine. We’ll be in the mix for mariotta and denard robinson types now. Not pro style guys.

    Powe isnt a spread wr either. Also spread doesnt use tight ends a whole lot.

    Im drinking the sonny delight. But why cant people voice their displeasure ? Were all the same fan base. No hire was going to please everyone. But i think only hue jackson would have divided us more.

    Im on the sonny train. But dont geg me wrong. Lots of worries. But gonna hope for best.

  • 1brsfan

    He worked with Nick Foles at Arizona and he’s a pro QB so I don’t necessarily agree that Kline should transfer. He also used Gronk very well in his offense so he does use beastly TE’s. when the season ended I wasn’t looking forward to 2013 with JT at the helm. Now I can’t wait to see our young weapons in Dykes offense! Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    Being a pro doesn’t equate to having the best draft stock. There’s a lot of guys who have ran the spread. And maybe my thinking is too old timey and it isn’t even true anymore.

    But typically the first round QBs are guys who run pro-style offenses.

    I may be wrong though. Was RG3 in a spread at Baylor ? Same with Tannehill ? The difference there though is they’re way better runners than Kline-stein.

  • Juancho

    I don’t think he should transfer actually.

    I guess I’m just thinking of it from the perspective of going to a college as an investment if your a top qb. And I bet it’s hard to go in thinking one thing, and then have a total change. But that’s life. If Kline is really as good as some on here say he is (me) then he’ll be fine.

    If he’s not, or if Dykes is inflexible, I think of what happened to Michigan when Rich Rod got there. But that’s a worst case scenario. And there’s no need to think that is what will happen.

    I guess what is hard to take right now is that it will take a long time to see the team play and figure out what the differences are.

    I hope he opens up practices. I hope he recruits aggressively. I hope he isn’t a pushover.

    I hope he hires a great d coordinator. Not a pac-12 retread.

  • Larry

    According to Kline, he bleeds blue & gold and will NOT transfer.

  • Larry

    …and therefore, will NOT transfer.

  • daredevilfan

    Final post from me tonight. While I’ve been positive about Dykes tonight, I actually much prefer a pro-style offense. So he wasn’t top of my list. But there are a lot of ways to skin a cat and mostly I want intangibles and confidence and swagger/energy from my coach. So I am hopeful. I just wonder if he might look at the athletes we have and run a pro style offense anyway. 98% chance so no, as that is not what he is known for. But these type of men believe they can do anything, which is why they succeed. I am always annoyed by coaches who see a bunch of square pegs and squeeze them into their round holes anyway. that is likely what will happen, and it will still be great. But if there is a day soon when I hear that Dykes will go with Cal’s atheletic strengths and run the pro-style offense…well that will be the day that I truly know that we will be smelling roses soon. Nite all.

  • Larry

    I am excited for the 2013 season to start!

    Go Bears!!!

  • Calfan1

    Juancho –

    My amigo. I’m not calling you out, but you are the self appointed COO of this blog, so I’d like to ask you to consider this: Let’s wait and see if Sonny wins at Cal or not before we show our displeasure – is that fair? I think we all agree that his Offense works. If he can get a good DC, this hire will be just fine.

  • Juancho

    Calfan, my hermano. Im on board with sonny.

    I think he can do well. And will be on board the sonny train until proven otherwise.

    I have some concerns. But i would with any hire. Lots of emotions now that its official. I think we can still be supportive but also share our worries.

    I dont think its as simple as saying hes a slam dunk or saying hes doomed.

    Which is why i think everyone can support our beloved program while sharing their thoughts.

    Daredev, i guess im ignorant to him still. But does he have swagger ? From the youtube vids i saw he seemed pretty mellow and softspoken.

  • Larry

    From Calbears.com:

    “In 2006, Dykes received the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Award from the All-American Football Foundation, the same year he was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.”

    Sounds good to me!

  • Larry

    Kevin Parker, AKA the rope guy is still listed on the coaching staff with the title, “Recruiting Assistant”

    Sonny Dykes is already listed as Head Coach.

  • konamike

    Sonny’s first assignment for all squad members – write a two sentence report on last week’s episode of Redneck Island. Want to start immediately on improving our graduation rate.

  • go8ears

    Endorsement of Coach Dykes from someone believed to be an LA Tech professor (from CGB):

    LA Tech prof and fan here…

    Thought I’d add in a few thoughts to your conversation, in no particular order…

    -Y’all got a good coach. I’ve watched Sonny come in and take a pretty decent foundation left by Dooley and build on it, and I can see him doing something similar at Cal.

    -He’s an excellent offensive coach and has a great way with players. They respect him, play hard for him, go to class, and stay out of trouble away from the field (there’s a lot to be said for that these days).

    -Hope like hell he hires a good DC, because he won’t have much to do with that side of the ball.

    -What he’s been able to accomplish here, with the financial limitations he faced, has been pretty astounding. I can’t even begin to explain the lack of resources this place has. Not only that, he was faced with a staggering amount of apathy from the fanbase. Case in point: with the team at 9-1, and Orange Bowl reps in attendance, playing what was essentially a conference championship game, every business in town was GIVING away tickets in order to get a respectable crowd. The stadium was still only 2/3 full (and the stadium only holds about 32k.

    -The missed bowl opportunity lies squarely at the feet of the AD, who arrogantly made his decisions without consulting the coach.

    -The university didn’t make a counter-offer to keep him because there’s no money to do so. We are about to face our 6th consecutive year of mid-year budget cuts. As an example of how difficult it is to raise money here: Two years ago, the university announced a capital campaign to build a new football complex behind one of the endzones, to include some luxury boxes. The goal was to have the money raised…in TEN years!

    -Tech fan hate to see him go, though we knew it would happen eventually. Seriously, what coach would want to stay after that bowl fiasco? Good luck to him and to y’all.
    Meet it is I set it down that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain–Hamlet, I, v

    Two more things I meant to add:

    -His offense utilizes the run a lot more than people who haven’t watched it think. While it’s not balanced in the 50% run-50% pass sense, it is balanced in how each aspect is utilized in the offense. Think of a Mike Shanahan-led offense in the way he utilizes zone blocking schemes that can help turn effective runners into really good ones.

    -Sonny recruits to his system really well. Tech was able to have one of the top offenses in the country this year and did so with a majority of 3-star recruits. The offense probably only had one legitimate 5-star (WR-Quin Patton). I would anticipate much better recruiting results at Cal.

    …I haven’t had any [of his players] in my classes

    However, I haven’t heard any negative comments from those who do have football players in classes. I don’t know the figures, but I do know that the vast majority of the football players graduate. I was looking on our website to see if I could find any numbers, and couldn’t, but I did find the quote below in a report from last year. A pretty positive note, I think.
    Only Rutgers and Louisiana Tech had overall GSR rates for football student-athletes that were better than the overall student-athletes. Boise State had overall GSR rates for football student-athletes that were the same for overall student-athletes.
    Full copy of the TIDES report that came from can be found here: http://tidesport.org/RGRC/2011/2011_FBS_Bowl_Study%5BFINAL%5D.pdf

  • ConcordBear

    Tomorrow at the press Conf please find out who will be a part of the rest of the staff.
    Can’t wait to find out who the DC and ST’s cord will be.
    We need those guys to be very very good.
    Please let us know what the vibe is like.
    What do the players think?
    And, what are they going to do abou their first task, recruiting? JC mid year transfer and HS early entrant is coming right up with LOI day about a month and a half later.
    BIg time recruiting period starts tomorrow for Cal football.
    Hope the new HC and his staff are top recruiters and land a great class.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    bobsac, wake the f- up! It’s all about spin. It’s a commercial to sell tickets!

    BSB, I would have a worry with an unknown coach, not knowing whether he valued defense and player discipline. With Dykes, we know he doesn’t care about defense and is unable to correct player discipline.

    Can he win shoot-outs? Yes. Is it “exciting football”? Sure, just like the Cohan owned Warriors were exciting basketball.

    That doesn’t make it per se a great hire.

    From my point of view, I watch more than the score board when I watch football. I appreciate good defense. I appreciate a game with limited to no penalties. I pay attention to so many aspects of every play, and I fear we hired a coach that doesn’t care about half of the game.

    Could this turn out okay? Yeah, but if the Dykes paradigm holds, where the game is about outscoring the opponent and overcoming your own penalties, I won’t be enjoying the game over half of the time.

    Seriously, Cal just hired a coach that was near LAST in defense and penalties this past season. Think about that, guys.

    Now, if people out there want to watch a “warrior-esque” Cal football product, congratulations. That’s not what I want to watch, and I’m very upset to think that I could care even less about Cal football than I did at a low point this season.

    I can see that happen even with a winning record, should the Dykes pattern hold.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    To be extra clear, that he runs the spread is only a minor issue for me compared to his defenses and penalty numbers.

    Dykes would have been the greatest OC hire, ever!

    Head coach, however, leaves a great deal open to debate.


    Juancho, I wish you would not have mentioned Rich Rod’s Michigan debacle. That did nothing for my currently brittle mental state over this hire.

  • go8ears

    From the onset Sandy clearly stated that the university’s objective was to find a coach who’s a complete package with a main focus on benefiting the student athletes. We are inferring from his previous years that Dykes has some weaknesses like giving up too many yards/points and penalties, but what coach doesn’t have weaknesses and what’s to say he won’t improve? According to the LA Tech Professor, the state of things at LA Tech are very different from Cal with the latter in a much more favorable and better condition. Maybe this means we can expect bigger, greater things from him coaching at Cal. Plus he’s a young coach. Let’s give him some time.

  • Juancho

    Go8ears i agree with you. But come on man. I just laughed out loud when i got to the part about his downside being giving up too many points.

  • go8ears

    Haha he will get better. I mean what else can we do at this point as a Cal fan but to remain hopeful and support our team?

  • Daniel

    I guess Diaco not panning out would mean losing 3-0, but Dykes not panning out means losing 49-42. The latter is definitely more exciting if those are the choices.
    But heck, maybe we will even win some games. That’d be a nice change from this year.

  • Will

    Kevin Parker, AKA the rope guy is still listed on the coaching staff with the title, “Recruiting Assistant”.

    Well, damn. There goes my job.

  • calbearclaw

    Ray Finkle: Moron.

  • calbearclaw

    Juancho I’ve had it with you. Encouraging Kline to transfer? I mean your negativity is borderline pathological. Enough. Open your eyes.

  • calbearclaw

    And these bleating sheep who keep saying we will no longer feature pro set oriented QBs and tight ends – please explain his development of Foles and Gronk and AZ. Enough!

  • calbearclaw

    Here is what you critics are missing, and it’s a subtle but simple point:

    Berkeley is a smart school. Dykes is a smart man. We’ve lacked that basic confluence in recent years. He’s going to bloom, I guarantee it.

  • calbearclaw

    Hey Wisdom Cow, you are smelling this place up like a barn. Weren’t you the same guy defending Tedford deep into his malaise? Not sure you are in a position to offer these cynical predictions with any credibility whatsoever. Do you assume this same type of reflexive negativity to other aspects of your life? I hope not.



  • rollonubears

    Dykes is apparently one of only 3 football coaches to have a team graduation rate higher than the school’s graduation rate. Granted, LA Tech isn’t the ivy league, but this is a pretty big deal. I’m really excited to see his offense, but we need a very good D-coordinator, and DEWayne Franklin is not that guy, I hope. 10-40 as a head coach? Yikes.

  • Bobsac

    #22 Wisdom Cow-hopefully you & other anti-New coach attack warriors followed my advice, had a couple of beers last night, and now like for Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, tomorrow is a new day. May your knives rest back in the drawer at least until the 1st loss next season. My 1st choice was Mike MacIntyre but I got over it even before I finished the 2d beer.

  • Eric

    I’ve asked Wisdom to save these posts and compare notes in a year. If we go less than .500, he has license to complain ad nauseum. If we manage 8 wins or more, he should be bowing down. If it in between, we chalk it up to a decent year but reserve judgment. Unfortunately, he thus far has only told me to “STFU” but I am hoping he will have a little more graciousness.

    As for defense and penalties, in another post I compared La. Tech and Cal this year. La. Tech had the worst in the nation defense, but Cal was #92. Cal was worse in penalties (by one). Seems to be they are just about the same in the categories. But when you factor in offense…

  • Easy Ed

    Juancho and Go8ears I have slept on it and I also am ready to drink the Sonny Delight! I have a suggestion, While he’s still in Louisiana, go over to Baton Rouge and find the hot assistant to John Chavis at LSU (I’d love to get him but he’s already making $1.3 million) bring him in as the defensive coordinator, leave him alone to design a scheme and recruit what he needs and let’s go.

    Keepin’ hope alive baby!

  • Ray Finkle

    Blake, I guess you have the only opinion in here? My bad for disagreeing with you and others. How about you screw off Blake. I have been around football my whole life and have coched as well at a few levels. I have watched Dykes coach in many games the last few years and I am not at all impressed. His teams are undisciplined as hell and they play zero D. Enjoy your hi scoring losses of 55-37. Who cares how many points you score if the rest of your team is a sloppy mess. Enjoy your game day slop buddy.

  • Ray Finkle

    Right Bearclaw, whatever you say buddy. I’m a moron because I disagree with you. You are the almighty being when it comes to cal sports. Good luck with that.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    From Social Welfare studies to the culture of Rednecks. Now that’s what I call progressive.

  • ScottyBear

    Remember the pissed off UCLA fan base last year when they “settled” for 4th choice Jim Mora? All he did was guide UCLA to the south division championship with a redshirt freshman QB. Beat USC when it counted for the title. Have we ever been in that position?Sounds like us next year with oiur new QB!

    LA Tech didn’t have the money for top notch assistant coaches and it’s doubtful Dykes is getting Tedford money. Let’s assume Sandy is assembling a coaching group that include OC and especially DC that step up. Maybe Dykes was selected because he sold his plan to improve our defense along with implementing his offensive fireworks. Let’s go!

  • Eric

    Thoughtful post, ScottyBear.

    Does anyone know contract info for Dykes. He made $750k at La. Tech. Doubling him at Cal is still way less than Tedford, which presumably means more $$ for assistants.

    I do hope he keeps Gould.

  • covinared

    what’s all the fuss about? good offense and good defense are not mutually exclusive. All he needs to do is get good defensive coaches and players and things should go well on both sides of the ball. I think too many posters here just need to complain about something. Less than 24 hours after a hire is too early to predict doom. We will not know anything prior to Labor Day anyway. I look forward to the future and am willing to give Sonny a chance. Welcome Sonny. Take us to the Rose Bowl! Go Bears!

  • covinared

    I haven’t read anything from those who wrote that Tedford should go because he had a big gut. Apparently Sandy did not think a hard body was an important qualification in the hire.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    All he needs to do is get good defensive coaches? and make sure he tells the players to not commit penalties, too, I guess?

    It’s just not that simple. Good thing other programs are not looking for good DCs, too. Was it not Tedford’s leadership from the top that brought issues everywhere? Clancy and Gregory was very good DCs, I thought. Does a trickle down from the HC not apply to Dykes when it comes to defense (which he ignored at Tech) or penalties?

    Yet, now, a good DC will make everything fine against the rest of the Pac 12? Believe me. I get that a good offense will help the D, but that presumes the SAME defense we had under Tedford. We don’t even know if there is a 3-4 or 4-3 preference coming in. All we know is the new top guy has experience inspiring offense, ignoring defense, and living with penalties.

    I really can’t help but smell the stench of a commercial in the Barbour press release, and I think Dykes’ hiring was, in part, based on the ability to sell tickets with offense. The final results and total product won’t matter (toward the goal of ticket sales) as long as the offense puts up numbers. Look at how well Cohan did with his Warriors.

    I can respect that, for many, they are happy with this. I wanted a coach that has demonstrated some balance in priorities, which doesn’t mean not caring about offense, but caring about everything. Any disrespect (as toward Eric) was for blatantly misquoting me while he disregarded my position, which, IMO, is answering a disrespect in kind.


    And to those saying my opinion is invalid because I was a Tedford defenders – go back in the archives, then, and prove it. I ripped his play calling since Dunbar. I lost it before most over his continuing to play Longshore. I did not call call for his firing until early this season because (which I clearly stated even when ripping him way before hand) he was going to be given a year with the new facilities.

  • Eric

    I’m sorry – I misquoted you how?

    You wrote:

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

    I wrote:

    “Tedford coached great defenses? Really? Tedford coached poor offenses, which entirely wore out our defenses. 3 and outs every time destroy the best defenses.”

    Where is the misquote? I used your words – you said Tedford coached great defensive teams. I said he coached great defenses. Is that the misquote – defensive teams versus defenses? And how was there in any way a “blatant misquote”?

    Oh, and let’s see the rest of the post I made.

    “I realize you are unhappy with Dykes. Fair point. But your analyses having fallen far short of the mark thus far. And you were a very big Tedford supporter long after the ship had sailed. So how about you take a year off from rendering judgments. If we go worse than .500 next year, I’ll be the first in line to say you are right. If we get 8+ wins, even with a crappy defense and tons of penalties, I hope you’ll do the gracious thing.”

    I then backed up what I wrote with statistics comparing Cal’s defenses v. La. Tech’s, comparing penalties, and comparing offenses. I have no disrespect for you or your opinion that Dykes is not a good choice. My point is that your factual bases are suspect if your focus is lack of defense and penalties.

  • wehofx

    Dykes wasn’t my first choice but have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Those were some very strong candidates he beat out – yeah, I know, that also means giving sb the benefit of the doubt. Here’s hoping for a success!

    Welcome Sonny.

  • wehofx

    Ray Finkle = moron sn alias

  • The Wisdom Cow

    “you said Tedford coached great defensive teams”

    “Tedford did coach some great defensive teams”

    Compare the two again, Eric. Tedford has history before last season, and if you use your own argument (which is quite valid) that the poor offenses of late hurt the D, you might realize the defenses of late were not that bad. Compare to Dykes history.

  • ConcordBear

    I encourage all to watch espn all access with La tech. So we can see how he runs practice. I was pretty impressed.
    It was live on ESPN U a couple weeks back

    People are all over this hire and say he won’t do anything for the Bears.
    We’ll see, I hope he and his staff are motivated to prove the haters wrong. Low expectations seem to be the consensus.
    I hope new Golden Bears and players prove the “experts” wrong