Cal moves Garret Chachere to running backs coach, and defensive coordinator Art Kaufman will coach linebackers

In the wake of Jake Spavital's hiring, Cal made some changes to its defensive coaching staff assignments.

Following the hiring of new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, the California football program announced on Saturday that the defensive staff will be shaken up, as well.

Linebackers coach Garret Chachere, who previously coached defensive ends in 2013, before moving to linebackers coach the past two seasons, will move to the offensive side of the ball to coach running backs, in a move that was expected after the departure of running backs/quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin on Jan. 22.

Defensive coordinator Art Kaufman will pick up the linebackers as an additional coaching responsibility, much the same as his predecessor, Andy Buh. Kaufman has coached linebackers for 28 of his 34 seasons in the coaching ranks.

“These moves will strengthen our coaching staff,” head coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “Garret is an outstanding teacher who will do a fantastic job as our running backs coach. He has a tremendous amount of expertise with this offense from his time on the coaching staff at Arizona and that was critical to us being able to make these moves. Garret is quite comfortable with this offense. He speaks the same language as the rest of the staff, and I am extremely confident that he will fit right in and be on the same page with Jake Spavital and all of our coaches on the offensive side of the ball.”

“This also gives Art the opportunity to work directly with a position group that he has coached successfully for most of his career,” Dykes added.

Chachere is no stranger to the offensive side of the ball. He started out at Cheney University of Pennsylvania coaching running backs and defensive backs in 1992, serving in the same capacity the next season for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

While at Louisiana-Monroe in 1998, Chachere coached wide receivers and tight ends. When Chachere and Dykes first coached together, in 2009 at Arizona, he coached wide receivers for his first two seasons, before moving to running backs coach in 2011. During that one season coaching the Wildcats running backs, Arizona was the 16th-ranked offense in the nation (465.25 ypg), and Chachere coached Ka'Deem Carey, who went on to be a fourth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 2014 NFL Draft.

“This was an excellent opportunity to make a move back to the offensive side of the ball,” Chachere said in a statement. “I love Cal and am excited to be part of a coaching staff that has helped turn this program around. I really enjoyed coaching this offense at Arizona and gained a firm grasp of it during my time there. With the familiarity I have with this offense my learning curve will be short. I’ll also be able to add an interesting and different perspective to coaching the position because of my experience working on the defensive side of the ball especially the last three seasons at Cal with many opportunities to go up against this offense. I know first-hand what the defense is trying to accomplish.”

Kaufman, who will enter his third season as Cal's defensive coordinator, improved the Bears' pass defense from 125th in the nation to 91st, and from 121st in total defense to 108th, dropping total yards per games allowed from 495.2 to 453.7. Kaufman has a long history of coaching linebackers. He started his professional career as the outside linebackers coach at Northwestern State from 1983 to 1986, before moving up to the defensive coordinator position in 1987 and retaining his linebackers positional coaching duties.

He also coached outside linebackers and defensive ends at Ole Miss from 1988 to 1991, and served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Louisiana Tech (1992-94), Ole Miss again (1995-2000) and Arkansas Tech (2001-02), before coaching the defensive line at East Carolina 2003-04. Kaufman returned to coach linebackers at Middle Tennessee from 2005-07, and again at North Carolina from 2009-10, before adding defensive coordinator to his job description for the Tar Heels' 2011 season. At each of his two previous stops (Texas Tech in 2012 and Cincinnati in 2013), Kaufman has been the defensive corrdinator and linebackers coach.

At Cincinnati, Kaufman coached second-team all-conference linebacker Greg Blair, who led the Bearcats with 106 tackles.

With Kaufman as linebackers coach with North Carolina, the Tar Heels were No. 27 nationally in rush defense in 2011, and featured current NFL linebackers Zach BrownBruce Carter and Kevin Reddick. Brown's final season in 2011 earned him All-ACC first-team honors, with 105 tackles, three picks and three pass breakups, adding 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Reddick (74) and Brown (72) were the top two tackles on North Carolina's 2010 team, with Brown tallying three picks for 113 return yards. 

Kaufman also coached sixth-round 2011 NFL Draft pick Quan Sturdivant.

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