The head coaching search may have come to an end in Berkeley as rumors are circulating that Sonny Dykes, head coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in 2012, will become the next head coach of the Cal Bears.
Cal AD Sandy Barbour said that the Bears hoped to have their coaching vacancy filled by next week, but it seems they were able to move even quicker than that. Though, with Barbour currently in New York City and Dykes currently in Ruston, an immediate announcement is not likely.
Dykes has been a hot name associated with several open head coaching jobs this off-season after leading La Tech to a 9-3 record this season with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country. Dykes has been at Louisiana Tech since 2010 and has compiled a 22-15 record in his three seasons. He’s been to just one bowl game and is 0-1.
The move west is a return to the Pac 12 for Dykes, who served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Arizona Wildcats for three seasons from 2007-2009. In 2008, he helped coach the Wildcats to their first winning season since 1998 and scored the most points in Arizona bowl history when the team beat the BYU Cougars 31-21 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Arizona would follow that up with a second straight eight win season in 2009, where they also reached No. 22 in the AP poll, the school’s first national ranking since 2000. The season culminated with a bid to the Holiday Bowl and Dykes was nominated for the Broyles Award, which goes annually to the nation’s best college football assistant coach.
At Tech, Dykes has improved the team’s record in three consecutive seasons, won the program’s first WAC title since 2001, and was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 2011. This season, the Bulldogs used an up-tempo offensive attack that racked up 350.8 yards passing per game and 227.2 rushing yards per game, good for 4th and 18th nationally, respectively.
Dykes will be stepping into a pretty good situation with Cal, as Jeff Tedford left the cupboard far from bare. The Bears are filled with good, young talent at the receiver and quarterback position. With brand new facilities and a athletic department committed to making Cal a contender in the Pac 12, the time is right for a new head coach to step in and make an immediate impact next season.
Sonny Dykes, it seems, is the man to make that impact.