Football: Dykes seeks advice of coaching veterans

When things went badly for Sonny Dykes in his first year at a new job, he did the natural thing. Cal’s football coach phoned his dad.

Spike Dykes, who spent 13 seasons at Texas Tech, wasn’t the only coach who provided offseason counsel to Sonny Dykes as he tried to regroup after the Bears’ 1-11 performance last fall.

“The hardest thing for me has been getting over it,” Sonny Dykes said. “Because as a coach, that’s your identity. That’s who you are.”

No one wants to look in the mirror and see 1-11, so after last season Dykes figured he’d benefit from the advice of coaches who have seen it all. He talked with the likes of Bill Snyder, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops and Dick Tomey, and his dad.

Their message: “You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing,” Dykes said.

Few coaches have had their self-belief tested more strenuously than Kansas State’s Snyder, who in 1989 took over what Sports Illustrated once called college football’s worst program. K-State had enjoyed just four winning seasons in the 44 years before Snyder arrived.

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Jeff Faraudo

  • GoBears49

    Getting a new defensive coordinator is the best move Dykes has made since last season. I expect the offense to be much more explosive this year, with the freshman wide receivers and and all of the freshman who played a lot last year having a season under their belt, along with the whole offense being much more familiar with Dykes’ system. If the defense just plays adequately, Cal could surprise some people this year.

  • GoBears49

    Maybe in a year or so, after Dykes turns the program around, we will start to see signs, a la the famous 50’s slogan for Eisenhower, of “We Like Dykes.”

  • Calduke

    Dykes did seem a bit lost this first year. I hope his contacts helped him to coach up this team.

  • Wehofx

    I remain optimistic. Other than Kaufman hire, I think the most important change is going Live for the max allowable 8 practices.

    It killed me to watch all the missed/botched tackles last year.

    New Bear. Welcome, Malik!

    Malik Psalms (@MalikPsalms)
    4/20/14, 5:02 PM
    I have officially committed to Cal #CalGang15

  • Eric

    I was solidly behind Dykes last year, and I do think there was a perfect storm of an exceedingly tough schedule, injuries, and simple bad luck that I wrote the season off after the Washington State game and am still behind Dykes. Making the call on Kaufman was solid, and I do like his strong stance supporting Goff and permitting youngsters to play.
    That being said, as I said on January 1, I think Dykes needs to go 6-6 this season to avoid the hot seat. That is where I expected him to be going into his second season, and he doesn’t get a mulligan (as bad was the hand he was dealt, going 1-11 creates a very big hole to climb out of). And I think it is possible for the reasons previously stated.
    One piece of advice Coach Dykes – never, ever, ever disclose to Cal fans that you have spoken to Mack Brown for any reason, othr than to say that he is only good for wearing knee pads or to tell him to go to hell. No respectable Cal fan should ever forgive or forget what Brown did in 2004 to cause Cal to be voted out of the Rose Bowl, and the coach needs to respect this history.

  • Juancho

    Dykes first season was worse than any of us probably expected. I agree with Eric that he suffered from a fountain of misfortune. But I also feel he made the problem worse, and the season worse, through his own doing, for instance – Hiring Buh, when he was not successful in that very same role down in Palo Alto.

    Now I’m a little worried about their first recruiting class, last year.

    Jacobi Hunter may be leaving. And Johnny Ragin who already left.

  • BlueNGold

    Dykes needs more time. He came in with a number of disadvantages that were magnified by the problems that piled up during the season. I expect things to improve from here. If they don’t, then it will be time to look for a new coach.

  • Milo

    I want Sonny Dykes to win because he’s Cal’s football coach but you nailed it J. I’ll take doesn’t talk much but wins over super glib but can’t win.

    I mean seriously, okay so he called up some coaches to help navigate losing at a historic clip. BFD. Just take your lumps, figure it out, win and stfu. For pete sake, SD is getting paid $2m a year, and he got the pricey “genius” offensive coordinator. Also got a new DC after blowing the hire last year. Seriously just STFU and win.

    If SD doesn’t win 4 games this season – he’s gone if you ask me. Why? Well losing is a big factor but if you lose after calling up all your buds and your dad, well you’re an idiot.

  • Rollonubears

    I’m really disappointed to hear that he was talking with Mack Brown.