BERKELEY, Calif. — California hired Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes on Wednesday to take over for the fired Jeff Tedford.
Dykes will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday, two people with knowledge of the hire confirmed. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
The hiring was first reported by Footballscoop.com
Dykes had a 22-15 record with the Bulldogs, averaging 35.9 points and 452.5 yards per game in his tenure. He takes over a Cal team that went 3-9 this past season and missed a bowl for the second time in three years. Dykes inherits a roster with some talent, most notably heralded quarterback recruit Zach Kline, who did not play as a freshman but is in line to win the starting job next season.
Tedford, once known as a quarterback guru for his work with Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers, struggled in his later years at Cal to find an elite passer. The Bears had a 34-37 record in Tedford’s final 5½ years, leading to his dismissal.
Dykes, the son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, is known as an offensive mastermind, who runs a spread system that he honed as coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Dykes later spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Arizona under Mike Stoops before becoming head coach at Louisiana Tech before the 2010 season.
Dykes coached one of the nation’s most prolific offenses at Louisiana Tech this year with the Bulldogs leading the nation with 51.5 points per contest and ranking second with 577.9 yards per game.
They started the season 9-1, losing only 59-57 to Texas A&M, and were in position possibly to make it into a BCS bowl. But Louisiana Tech lost the final two games of the regular season to Utah State and San Jose State and now won’t even play in any bowl.
La Tech was offered a spot in the Independence Bowl last Saturday but wanted to wait before accepting in case they got a better bid. The Independence Bowl invited Ohio instead and the Bulldogs were left out when Northern Illinois got into the Orange Bowl, knocking Oklahoma out of the BCS.
Oklahoma State (7-5) then filled the Big 12’s final spot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue, while Iowa State (6-6) landed in the Liberty Bowl to play C-USA champion Tulsa as an at-large pick and the Bulldogs were left out.
There was no immediate word on the terms of Dykes’ contract. Cal still owes Tedford $6.9 million over the final three years of his deal, although Barbour had said the sides were working on a settlement.