Football: Cal confirms Michalczik is out

After 24 hours of conflicting reports, Cal confirmed Wednesday morning that offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Jim Michalczik has been let go. That means none of the five holdover assistant coaches remains with the program.

We first reported on Tuesday that wide receivers coach Wes Chandler said all five assistants were out. Cal then said Michalczik still was part of the staff, creating confusion and prompting a series of back-and-forth internet reports.

Turns out our initial report was correct and that for technical reasons Michalczik’s termination was not finalized at the same time as the others.

New coach Sonny Dykes announced on Tuesday the hiring of two of his former Louisiana Tech aides — offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and assistant head coach/wide receivers Rob Likens.


Basketball: No good news on Kreklow

Cal coach Mike Montgomery on Tuesday said there is no timetable for the return of sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, who has played in just two games this season because of a foot injury.

“He’s not making much progress. It’s very discouraging  . . . the kid’s very discouraged,” Montgomery said. “It’s just progressing slowly.”

Kreklow, projected before the season as a likely starter, has missed the past five games since feeling a twinge in his surgically repaired right foot. A week ago, Montgomery said the injury is not structural, but likely a tendon or muscle issue.

Don’t expect the Missouri transfer to return to action Saturday night against No. 16 Creighton.


Basketball: Kidd delivers against Nets

Jason Kidd, 39, who was drafted into the NBA when current Cal freshman Tyrone Wallace was 11 days old, still can rise up in the big moments.

Kidd made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets, 100-97, at the new Barclay Center. Kidd finished with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes against his old team.

Kidd pumped a fist afterward, commenting, “I’m a competitor. I want to win.”

The Knicks improved to 16-5.



Football: Four assistant coaches depart, two new ones arrive, Michalczik stays put — maybe

New Cal football coach Sonny Dykes fired four of five holdover assistant coaches Tuesday while announcing the hiring of two former Louisiana Tech aides.

Among the five assistants who were retained when head coach Jeff Tedford was fired on Nov. 20, only Jim Michalczik will remain on the staff. He will coach the offensive line.

*** UPDATE: Former assistants Ron Gould and Wes Chandler both told me all five assistants — including Michalczik — were let go on Tuesday. A Cal spokesman early Tuesday evening could not confirm that.

Coming to Berkeley from Dykes’ staff at Ruston, La., are offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Rob Likens.

Gone from the previous staff are running backs coach Gould, an assistant at Cal for 16 years, along with Chandler (wide receivers), Ashley Ambrose (defensive backs) and Marcus Arroyo (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks).

Franklin’s addition to the staff was no surprise. He worked all three seasons at Louisiana Tech with Dykes, running the offense and calling plays. The Bulldogs were 9-3 this fall and led the nation in scoring.

“Tony Franklin is an innovative and creative mind who is one of the top offensive coaches in the nation,” Dykes said in a statement. “He’s had a tremendous amount of success producing some of the most prolific offenses in college football.”

“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to come to the No. 1 academic institution in the country and try to also make it the No. 1 football program in the country. That’s our goal,” Franklin said. “To be able to do that with Sonny is kind of like a fantasy that started years ago.”

Franklin, 56, was a 2012 nominee for the Broyles Award given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach and one of four finalists for the FootballScoop.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year.

Likens coached 2012 second-team AP All-American and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Quinton Patton, who caught 104 passes including 13 touchdowns this season.

“I have known Rob Likens and admired his coaching abilities for a long time,”  Dykes said. “When I had the opportunity to hire him three years ago at Louisiana Tech I jumped at the chance, and he was everything that I believed he would be and more.”

Dykes will has much of his staff to assemble, including the entire defensive side.



Football: Correction — Jim Michalczik retained as offensive line coach; other assistants are out

UPDATE: Tony Franklin has been hired as offensive coordinator and Rob Likens joins the staff as assistant head coach/wide receivers coach. Both following Sonny Dykes from La Tech. Will have more later.

CORRECTION: New Cal football coach Sonny Dykes will retain Jim Michalczik as offensive line coach, but has fired the other four holdover assistant coaches.

Wide receivers coach Wes Chandler told me earlier today that all five assistants were gone. A Cal spokesperson said that is not correct.

“We’re out,” Chandler told me in a phone interview Tuesday morning.

Chandler said he met with Dykes on Monday, but got no answer about his future. Later in the day, he said Solly Fulp, chief operating officer for Cal athletics, called to say he would not be back.
Cal kept five assistants on the payroll after head coach Jeff Tedford was fired Nov. 20.
In addition to Chandler, 16-year veteran running backs coach Ron Gould, defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose and passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo were retained for the transition period.
A Cal spokesman indicated a couple of new assistant coaches could be announced on Tuesday.
“I understand it. He wants to have his own guys,” said Chandler, who said he was only unhappy that he didn’t get a direct answer from Dykes. “He could have said, `Hey, I don’t have a place for you.’ “

Basketball: UNLV game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: UNLV 76, Cal 75. Quintrell Thomas’ putback off an airball by teammate Anthony Marshall with 1.2 seconds left provided the No. 21 Runnin’ Rebels (7-1) the final margin over the Bears (6-2). But Cal lost this game by allowing 13 offensive rebounds, turning the ball over 13 times, and missing 13 (of 28) free throws. Allen Crabbe led Cal with 18 points, and career-highs for Richard Solomon (14) and freshman Tyrone Wallace (13). Anthony Bennett, a freshman who may never become a sophomore, led UNLV with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds. Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 22, 12 in the second half.

1:36 2nd H: Freshman Wallace has scored Cal’s past four points and has a career-high 13. But UNLV freshman Bennett just made two FTs — he has 21 points — and the score is tied 70-all.

3:41 2nd H: Wallace draws an offensive foul by UNLV’s Savon Goodman and Cal has the ball, trailing 68-66. Bryce Dejean-Jones, who had scored 12 points since 10:26 left, now on the bench with his fourth foul, an intentional against Justin Cobbs.

Continue Reading


Football: Dykes’ innovative coaching roots

The roots of the coaching tree that spawned new Cal football coach Sonny Dykes reach down to Darrell Royal and LaVell Edwards. But his approach to the game was shaped more directly by less traditional influences.

Perhaps none was more profound than the time he spent with Hal Mumme at Kentucky.

“I hired him twice,” Mumme said of Dykes. “He was that good.”

Click here to read the rest of my profile on Sonny Dykes.

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.



Basketball: UNLV preview

 TIPOFF: 3 p.m.  Sunday at Haas Pavilion. TV/Radio: ESPNU/910 AM.

 The Cal basketball team gets the second of three chances this month to show how it stacks up against the nation’s elite when it faces No. 21 UNLV on Sunday at Haas Pavilion.

The Bears (6-1) already fell hard in a 25-point loss at Wisconsin last Sunday, and will face No. 16 Creighton in Berkeley on Saturday.

There is no overstating how important the next week will be for the Bears. Among those watching: Members of the committee that will select and seed teams for the NCAA tournament.

“Certainly for us,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said, “these three (will be) our best opportunity to contribute to our image and reputation.”

To read the rest of my story, click here.

THE SERIES: UNLV leads 4-1. UNLV won 85-68 last year. 

ETC: Allen Crabbe ranks fifth on Cal’s career list with 161 3-point baskets. Next up: Patrick Christopher with 164. … Crabbe’s 25-point performance last Sunday at Wisconsin was his fifth 20-point performance of the season, the 18th of his career. … Sophomore G Ricky Kreklow (foot) practiced on a limited basis this week and is listed as doubtful to play. … Cal had 23 turnovers in its 81-56 loss at Wisconsin last Sunday.

WHAT’S NEXT: Cal plays Creighton at Haas Pavilion, Saturday, Dec. 15 at Haas Pavilion. Tipoff is 8 p.m. PST.

Cal (6-1)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 Jr. 22.4 5.7
PF Richard Solomon 6-10 Jr. 7.6 6.1
PF David Kravish 6-9 So. 5.9 8.0
SG Justin Cobbs 6-2 Jr. 18.7 3.1*
PG Brandon Smith 5-11 Sr. 4.1 3.0*
Key reserves
G Tyrone Wallace 6-3 Fr. 5.0 2.3*
C Robert Thurman 6-10 Sr. 5.1 3.7
G Ricky Kreklow 6-6 So. 6.5 5.0


UNLV (6-1)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
F Anthony Bennett 6-8 Fr. 18.7 7.6
F Mike Moser 6-8 Jr. 12.3 9.2
SG Kaitin Reinhardt 6-5 Sr. 10.7 1.7
SG Bryce Dejean-Jones 6-5 So. 7.1 3.9
PG Anthony Marshall 6-3 Sr. 10.7 6.0*
Key reserves
G Justin Hawkins 6-3 Sr. 10.0 3.3
F Savon Goodman 6-6 Fr. 5.6 3.6
F Quintrell Thomas 6-8 Sr. 4.6 5.3