Who is: Sonny Dykes?

Cal Sports Digest takes a closer look at the candidates emerging as finalists to replace Jeff Tedford as Golden Bears' head coach.

Sonny Dykes
Age: 43 (Born Nov. 9, 1969)

Current Position: Head Coach, Louisiana Tech (Third Season)

Career Record: 22-15 (0-1 bowl)

Previous Resume: Offensive Coordinator, Arizona (2007-09); Wide Receivers Coach, Texas Tech (2000-06); Special Teams/Wide Receivers Coach, Kentucky (1999)

Notable Accomplishments: 2009 Broyles Award (Nation's top assistant coach) nominee, 2011 WAC Coach of the Year, led Bulldogs to 2011 WAC championship Notable Pupils: Wes Welker (Wide Receiver, Texas Tech); Nick Foles (Quarterback, Arizona); Rob Gronkowski (Tight End, Arizona); Juron Criner (Wide Receiver, Arizona)

Coaching Philosophy: "Air Raid" shotgun spread passing offense

CSD Impressions: Dykes knows what he wants to do on offense, something that seemed to escape Tedford in his final few seasons leading Cal. He will spread the field with four and five wide receivers, giving the quarterback plenty of easy reads, while also creating favorable matchups to run the ball. Louisiana Tech actually led the WAC in rushing offense and ranked 18th nationally, and should be able to take advantage of Daniel Lasco and Brendan Bigelow's explosive ability.

Factor in his strong special teams background and experience as a head coach, Dykes seems like the best available option, barring an unlikely change of heart by Boise State head coach Chris Petersen. Possessing a sharp tongue, he also has the big personality to inspire the fan base and make Cal football a legitimate player in the crowded Bay Area media landscape.

Best-Case Scenario: Mike Leach, circa Texas Tech
Dykes is able to seamlessly introduce his scheme to Berkeley and builds a reliable winner that always finishes in the top tier of the Pac-12 annually and is capable of challenging for the conference title every few seasons. Much like his coaching mentor Leach did in Lubbock, Dykes is able to constantly frustrate and upset more talented teams like Oregon and USC.

Worst-Case Scenario: Mike Leach, circa 2012 Despite inheriting personnel that seems well suited to run Dykes' offense, the Air Raid never clicks in Berkeley. With his focus occupied on that side of the ball, the defense is ripped by the Pac-12, and Dykes is fired after three miserable losing seasons.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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