Cal has fired head football coach Sonny Dykes, the school announced Sunday. While California's star quarterback would go on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Dykes and the Golden Bears would finish the 2016 season with their third losing record (5-7) in four years.
Dykes left Louisiana Tech to take over the Cal program in 2013 but things never really improved. Dykes interviewed for the Houston vacancy in 2014, several other jobs in 2015 and then expressed interest in the Baylor job this past offseason. The timing is challenging since recruiting heats up again this weekend in a three-week sprint to Signing Day.
The son of former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, Sonny was an Air Raid offense disciple of Mike Leach with the Red Raiders in the 2000s. Led by quarterback Jared Goff, the eventual first pick in the National Football League draft, Cal went 8-5 in 2015 and won the Armed Forces Bowl over Air Force. The Golden Bears also ranked No. 10 in total offense (513.2 ypg) and No. 22 in scoring offense (37.1 ppg).
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Speculation will now turns to Dykes' successor, with former OR and San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly's name likely to be linked to the job. Dykes was set to make $2.8m in 2018, and $2.875m in 2019. We are continuously evaluating our program and looking for ways to make it better - whether that's through additional academic support, recruiting, facilities, staffing, culture, leadership or anything else that can help our football program succeed. This is a Bears program with just two top-10 seasons since 1950 and few runs of consistent competitiveness in that span, and expectations for the new coach need to be tempered.
Nevermind Kelly: Cal's main goal will be finding someone who actually wants to be at Cal.