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Football: Bears introduce Sonny Dykes

Cal unveiled Sonny Dykes as its new football coach on Thursday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Click here for my story.

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 85 Comments »
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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

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 88 Comments »
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Football: Cal makes it official — Dykes

As expected, Cal made an official announcement Wednesday evening that it has hired Sonny Dykes as football coach.

Cal will introduce Dykes at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“Sonny 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 gameday,” Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said.

“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 he 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.”

Dykes, whose Louisiana Tech team led the nation in scoring this season, said,  ”I’m looking forward to bringing our exciting and enthusiastic brand of football to Berkeley. Our objectives are numerous. In addition to winning football games, we will strive to develop the total student-athlete in the classroom, on the field of play and in the campus and local communities. We want a win-everywhere mentality.”

Here is Cal’s news release: http://www.calbears.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/120512aaj.html

Click here for my story.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 18 Comments »
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Football: Sonny Dykes lands the job

UPDATED

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.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 67 Comments »
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Football: Sandy Barbour — `We’re close’

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour returned my call a few minutes ago and said the wait is nearly over: “We’re getting real close,” she said of the search to replace football coach Jeff Tedford. “Real close.”

Via Twitter, from Football Scoop: ”Sources tell us that Sonny Dykes will be named head coach at Cal.” Same source says announcement will come “within 24 hours.”

Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports tweeted earlier that Barbour told him she expected to have a coach hired by next week. She explained Feldman passed her in the hallway at an event Wednesday and asked, “Do you expect to have a coach by next week?”

She said yes.

****

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 60 Comments »
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Football: Figuring out what is true

Day 22 of the Cal football coaching search and pieces of “information” are flying.

TIMETABLE:

– Late morning, a website called OwlScoop — a Temple fan site — reported via Twitter that San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre will interview this week with the Philly school. Mac spent the 1997-98 seasons as an assistant coach at Temple.

– I called MacIntyre to ask him about our report Tuesday night that he had interviewed Friday with Cal, and he said he will not talk about jobs. He is headed to Washington D.C. today to participate in pre-Military Bowl events, but laughed at notion he’s talking with Temple — said he hasn’t spoken to anyone from there.

– Barely an hour later, Jon Wilner of our staff hears from a source at SJSU that MacIntyre no longer is involved with the Cal situation. Is that true? Probably. But maybe MacIntyre wants to cool the talk.  

– Contact in Boise says everything they hear is Chris Petersen is staying put. Well, imagine he is staying . . . at least until he isn’t.

– Early afternoon, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports tweets he just talked to Sandy Barbour, who said she expects to have a coach in place by next week. Two questions: How and why is she talking to Bruce Feldman, when she isn’t talking to anyone else? And does “by next week” mean it won’t be until then or still could be anytime?

– I leave a message on Barbour’s voicemail. Hard to believe she didn’t return my call immediately. Right.

– Barbour calls back within an hour. “We’re getting real close,” she said. “Real close.” That doesn’t sound like next week to me.

– UPDATE: Talked to LaTech AD Bruce Van De Velde at 2:20 p.m., and he said, “I can’t comment on any coaching speculation.” Geez, he was plenty talkative on Monday. Makes me wonder: If Dykes were staying at LaTech, wouldn’t his boss be thrilled to tell everyone?

CONCLUSIONS:

– Do we assume MacIntyre is out of the picture? Maybe, but I’m not 100 percent convinced.

– Is Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes the frontrunner? That may have been the case for several days now, but until the case is completely zipped closed on Chris Petersen, hard to consider anyone else the frontrunner. But we all know Petersen is — always has been — a very longshot.

– Is there someone else — a mystery candidate — that Barbour is quietly courting? I’m having reporter nightmares about that one.

Stay tuned.

****

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 16 Comments »
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Football: Cal interviewed MacIntyre on Friday

A source told Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group that San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre interviewed with Cal last Friday.

Here’s our updated story.

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 37 Comments »
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Football: Now the coach search gets serious

**** UPDATE: HAZELL REPORTEDLY ACCEPTS PURDUE JOB

Cal has talked with Sonny Dykes, Darrell Hazell, Gary Andersen and perhaps others about its football coaching job.

But we’ve heard nothing on Chris Petersen (everyone’s No. 1 choice) or Mike MacIntyre (the obvious local candidate).

Until now.

Here’s what I believe is going on: Cal or its search firm likely made preliminary contact with Boise State’s Petersen and San Jose State’s MacIntyre immediately after Jeff Tedford was fired on Nov. 20.

Easy to imagine the response from both: I’m busy with my team. Get back to me when the regular season is over.

That means this week.

As far as we know, Louisiana Tech’s Dykes still is in the picture. Perhaps former Raiders coach Hue Jackson is, too. Kent State’s Hazell will be introduced Wednesday as the coach at Purdue, ESPN reported. Andersen announced last Friday he is staying at Utah State.

Now the real action begins. MacIntyre on Tuesday morning told the Bay Area News Group’s Jimmy Durkin that he has had preliminary contact with schools. He wouldn’t say which schools. But we can assume Cal is one of them.

Sources in Boise tell me they still expect Cal to make a push for Petersen, as virtually every big school with an opening does every year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 58 Comments »
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Football: Hazell sidesteps Cal questions

I tried calling Kent State coach Darrell Hazell on Monday with no success, so thought I’d share what he told Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio.

Hazell, who reportedly talked with Cal over the weekend, danced around the questions: 

“There are so many rumors that are floating around,” he said. “Every time a job comes open my name is mentioned. That’s honoring, but I can’t discuss all the rumors that are out there.”

Hazell was asked whether he was actively looking at other opportunities.

“I’m not actively looking,” Hazell said.

 

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 6 Comments »
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Football: Louisiana Tech AD says he won’t engage in bidding war with Cal for Sonny Dykes

Louisiana Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde said he won’t get in a bidding war with Cal for coach Sonny Dykes, suggesting, “I’m sure if he gets an offer, he’ll consider it strongly.”

Cal’s search for a new coach enters its third week after the Nov. 20 firing of Jeff Tedford, but an athletic department spokesman said there will be no comment, including a timetable, until a new coach is hired.

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour, who has kept a low profile throughout the process, declined a request for an interview.

Dykes, whose Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring, interviewed with Cal over the weekend and is perhaps the front-runner.

Van De Velde told this newspaper Monday that he expects a decision by Dykes “within the next day or so, I would hope.”

Asking about Cal’s field of candidates, Van De Velde also wondered, “Why haven’t they talked to Mike MacIntyre? He’s a hell of a coach.”

Click here to read the rest of my story.

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Under: Coach search, Football | 15 Comments »
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