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Cal hires offensive-minded Dykes as head coach

The SportsXchange

The University of California hired Louisiana Tech's Sonny Dykes to be the Bears' next head football coach, athletic director Sandy Barbour confirmed Wednesday night.

Dykes' Tech team led the nation in scoring this season with an average of 51.5 points per game, and it ranked second nationally with 577.9 total yards gained per game.

"Sonny Dykes is one of the brightest offensive minds in the country," Barbour said in a statement. "However, it was far more than his proven success on the field that solidified my decision; it's the way he described his responsibility to the university at large and his commitment to creating a climate of comprehensive excellence and success for his student-athletes."

Dykes added in a prepared statement, "I am excited for the opportunity to become head coach at the University of California. Cal offers one of the best combinations of athletics and academics in the country, and a passionate fan base to match. I'm looking forward to bringing our exciting and enthusiastic brand of football to Berkeley."

Although they are 9-3, the Bulldogs will not play in a bowl game this year after hesitating to commit to an invitation to play in the Independence Bowl.

Dykes, 43, went 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech.

Cal fired former coach Jeff Tedford on Nov. 20 after an 11-year tenure during which the Bears reached eight bowl games. Cal finished 3-9 this year, losing its final five games to leave Tedford with an 82-57 record during his tenure in Berkeley.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bears also interviewed Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach Hue Jackson, formerly the head coach of the Oakland Raiders; San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre and Kent State coach Darrell Hazell, who accepted Purdue's head-coaching job earlier this week.

Dykes made his name as the co-offensive coordinator at Texas Tech in 2005 and 2006, with the Red Raiders ranking among the nation's leaders in passing. He spent 2007-09 as the offensive coordinator at Arizona before landing the head job at Louisiana Tech.

According to Cal's official Twitter page, Texas head coach Mack Brown said, "Cal landed a great coach in Sonny Dykes. He has always been on the cutting edge offensively. They are lucky to have him."

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit recently told the Louisville Courier-Journal, "He's outstanding ... and he's got a great offensive mind. He knows how to go out and put points on the board. With his pedigree and his background, I think he would be an outstanding coach no matter where he is."
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