Sonny Dykes resurfaces in Pac 12

Cal-Bears-CheerleadersThe Cal Bears have announced Sonny Dykes as their new head football coach. The hire comes just 15 days after the program parted ways with Jeff Tedford, and four days after Louisiana Tech rejected a bowl invitation.

Dykes spent the last three seasons building the Louisiana Tech football program, and more specifically, the offense.  The Bulldogs led the nation in scoring, while finishing with a record of 9-3. Under Dykes, Tech also spent five weeks in the top-25 rankings, providing evidence of growth under its new leadership.  The program recently made headlines by rejecting an invitation to the Independence bowl, which resulted in the team being left out of the postseason. That headline is soon replaced by the coaching departure and ensuing search.

Cal’s new coach is no stranger to the Pac 12 or one of its reigning leaders.  He had a brief stint as the offensive coordinator at Arizona under Mike Stoops (2007-09), where he installed his version of the spread. The Wildcat offense was lifted to 16th best in the nation in 2008, before falling off to No. 60 in his final season of work.

Dykes also worked with current Washington State coach Mike Leach as a member of the 2000-06 Texas Tech staff. He coordinated the offense and coached receivers for the Raiders, before his departure to join Stoops in the Arizona desert.

By early indications, this is a good hire for a Cal football program that has struggled offensively over the past two seasons. Dykes will inherit some playmakers on the current roster, but success will ultimately be determined by the make-up of his staff.  The Bears will eventually light up the scoreboard, but can they keep others from doing the same?

The new hire welcomes another spread offense to the Pac 12 conference. Of the four new coaches to enter the conference this year, all have implemented a form of the spread, and Dykes will certainly do the same. The conference will now consist of seven such offenses, and USC will play 5 of them annually. That’s just something to keep in mind, as the Trojans continue the search for a new defensive coordinator.


~ by Anthony on December 5, 2012.

One Response to “Sonny Dykes resurfaces in Pac 12”

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