Football: East Carolina aide hired as O-line coach

Cal’s new offensive line coach interviewed for the position on Wednesday, was promoted at his old Thursday and hired by the Golden Bears on Friday.

“It’s been crazy, kind of a whirlwind,” said Brandon Jones, who comes to Cal after five seasons as offensive line coach at East Carolina. For one day he also was the Pirates’ run-game coordinator.

On Sunday, he will visit the campus in Berkeley for the first time.

“I’m happy to be part of the Cal program,” said Jones, 31, whose hiring was not immediately announced by Cal. Jones replaces Zach Yenser, hired last week by Kansas.

Jones’ connection to Bears coach Sonny Dykes traces back to their time together at Texas Tech. Dykes was the Red Raiders’ receivers coach through 2006, when Jones was a senior center and Rimington Award finalist.

Both Texas Tech, coached in those days by Mike Leach, and East Carolina in recent seasons operated fast-tempo offenses not unlike what Jones will see at Cal.

“It’s extremely similar,” said Jones, who coached three first- or second-team all-American Athletic Conference offensive lineman last fall on a team that was 8-5, averaged 35.8 points and piled up nearly 7,000 yards of offense.

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Football: Ex-Vikings aide interviews for O-line job

UPDATE: A source with knowledge of Cal football tells me that Ryan Silverfield will not become the Bears’ next offensive line coach.


Former Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield, 34, has interviewed with Cal for its vacant O-line position, according to the website coachingsearch.com.

Silverfield,a native of Jacksonville, Fla., worked with the Vikings in various capacities from 2008 through 2013. He served as assistant offensive line coach in 2008 and again from 2011-13.

Silverfield also has experience coaching at the University of Central Florida, at Jacksonville University and at Hampden-Sydney College.

He is a 2003 graduate of Hampden-Sydney, where he earned a degree in economics.

As a player at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., Silverfield helped his team to a pair of Florida high school championships.


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


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.


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.


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.


Football: Figuring out what is true

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


— 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?


— 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.


Football: Now the coach search gets serious


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.

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