BERKELEY, Calif. – California will hire Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes to the same position, Cal Sports Digest can confirm.
Football Scoop was the first to report that Dykes would replace Jeff Tedford, the winningest coach in school history who was fired on Nov. 20 after 11 seasons leading the Golden Bears.
Dykes, 43, just concluded his third season with the Bulldogs, posting an overall record of 22-15. LA Tech won the WAC championship in 2011, and Dykes was named WAC Coach of the Year. This past season, LA Tech went 9-3 but was not selected for a bowl game, despite having the No. 1 scoring offense (51.5 points per game) and No. 2 total offense (577.92 yards per game), along with a two-point loss to Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The son of former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, the younger Dykes spent his formative years as a disciple of current Washington State head coach Mike Leach and his “Air Raid” shotgun spread passing offense, first as the wide receivers and special teams coach at Kentucky alongside Leach under Hal Mumme in 1999, then at Texas Tech from 2000-06, serving as wide receivers coach for the first five years before becoming co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the last two all under Leach.
Dykes then served as offensive coordinator at Arizona from 2007-09, as the Wildcats came up just one win short of their first-ever Rose Bowl bid, losing to eventual Pac-12 champion Oregon, 44-41 in double overtime.
Dykes will be tasked with reviving an offense that finished 74th nationally in total offense (391.25 yards per game), 92nd in scoring offense (23 points per game), and 115th in sacks allowed (3.42 sacks allowed per game).
Dykes must also address Cal’s woeful Academic Progress Rate, which was second worst in the Pac-12, per the latest NCAA reporting.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.