Football Coaching Staff
Sonny Dykes
Head Coach/Outside Receivers
Coach Info:
Position: Head Coach/Outside Receivers
Alma Mater: Texas Tech
Graduating Year: 1993
Experience: 3 Years

Twitter: @calcoachdykes | @calfootball
Instagram: calcoachdykes | cal_football

Sonny Dykes has returned Cal football to national prominence and the postseason in his first three seasons as the head coach in Berkeley. The team’s seven-win turnaround over the last two seasons from a 1-11 record in 2013 to an 8-5 mark in 2015 is tied for the second best in school history behind only the eight-win improvement from a 2-10 mark in 1946 to a 10-1 record in 1948. 

Dykes' success has earned him a contact extension through the 2019 season.

Cal's eight win in the Bears’ third campaign under Dykes in 2015 in his 21st campaign as a collegiate football coach marked the school’s most victories since 2009, capping the season with a win over Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The bowl victory was Cal’s first postseason win since 2008 in its first bowl appearance since 2011. Only 17 squads since the beginning of Cal football in 1882-83 have won more game than the Bears did in 2015. In addition to serving as the head coach, Dykes coached Cal’s outside receivers for the first time after working with the same position group for nearly a decade in previous coaching stops.

Dykes was named to the midseason watch list for the 2015 Dodd Trophy for the Bears’ success with the 20 head coaches on the list selected for representing programs with the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field as evidenced by a program that improved its single-season Academic Progress Rate (APR) score by 46 points to 969 in the first report date under Dykes and saw its four-year APR move up three points in its second season with the number expected to be 997 (out of a possible 1,000) the next time the numbers are reported in the spring of 2016. In addition, Dykes’ program has become one of Cal’s most active in the community.

Cal began the 2015 season with five straight victories to mark the program’s best start since the Bears were also 5-0 in 2007 before dropping four of their next six games to teams that were all ranked in the top 10 at some point in 2015 including top-five foes Oregon and Utah, with four of those five contests on the road. At one point, the Bears were in the national rankings for four consecutive weeks (Weeks 4-7) and moved as high as No. 19 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the AP Top 25 in Week 7. Cal’s national rankings were its first since 2010 (coaches poll) and 2009 (AP Top 25).

But Cal finished strong with three wins in their final four contests over Oregon State, Arizona State and Air Force. The Bears secured their first winning season since 2011 with a dramatic 48-46 comeback victory that was won on the final play of the game in the regular-season finale against Arizona State after reaching bowl eligibility also for the first time since 2011 with their sixth victory of the season over Oregon State two weeks earlier.

Cal's offense flourished again in 2015, setting numerous records including single-season school marks in passing yardage (4,892), passing yards per game (376.3 ypg), passing touchdowns (44), total offense (6,879), total yards per game (529.2 ypg), total touchdowns (63), scoring offense (37.9 ppg, modern-era record), first downs (341) and first downs passing (201), with all the marks previously set in 2013 or 2014.

Cal ranked third nationally in passing offense, eighth in total offense and 17th in scoring offense in 2015, with all of the numbers second in the Pac-12.

Cal also set single-game team records in 2015 with 760 yards of total offense and 36 first downs vs. Oregon State, while tying a modern-era school record with 10 extra-point attempts vs. Grambling State.

Quarterback Jared Goff, who declared for the 2016 NFL Draft and is projected to be a high pick, set 26 school records during his three seasons and started all 37 of Cal’s games at quarterback from 2013-15 including career marks for passing yardage (12,220), touchdown passes (96), total offense (12,086) and completions (977). He also finished his career second on the school’s all-time list for passing efficiency (143.95) behind only Aaron Rodgers. He ranks third all-time in Pac-12 history in passing yardage and fourth in passing touchdowns, while he is 26th nationally in passing yards and 27th in passing touchdowns.

Goff also broke a pair of Pac-12 single-season records in his final season as a 2015 junior when he passed for 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns to lead an 8-5 Cal team to a winning record and bowl game for the first time since 2011. He was also the first Cal quarterback to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors since Rodgers in 2004, a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and Cal’s Most Outstanding Player in a Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl victory over Air Force when he set the bowl’s single-game records by passing for 467 yards and six touchdowns in his final collegiate game. The bowl victory was Cal’s first since a 2008 win over Miami (Fla.) in the Emerald Bowl.

Goff became the first Cal quarterback to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors since Aaron Rodgers in 2004 and was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Goff was ranked as high as No. 3 on the USA Today Heisman Hot List and tied for No. 6 on ESPN’s Heisman Watch after the team’s 5-0 start.

Goff led the Pac-12 and ranked third in the nation in 2015 in both passing touchdowns and passing yards. He was also second both nationally and in the conference in passing yards per game (363.0) among 10 categories in which he ranked among the top three in the conference and top 20 nationally.

Cal was the only team in the nation to have six receivers with 40 or more catches in 2015 – Kenny Lawler (52-658, 13 TD), Darius Powe (47-560, 8 TD), Bryce Treggs (45-956, 7 TD), Stephen Anderson (41-474, 2 TD), Trevor Davis (40-672, 2 TD) and Maurice Harris (40-558, 6 TD). The Bears also had three 500-yard rushers – Khalfani Muhammad (87-586, 1 TD), Vic Enwere (106-505, 8 TD) and Tre Watson (89-504, 3 TD) – to become the first college football team in recorded history to have six players with 40 or more receptions and three 500-yard rushers in the same season.

Cal also made tremendous improvements on defense in 2015 especially in the turnover numbers, tying for 11th in the nation in fumbles recovered (12), tying for 13th in turnovers gained (27) and tying for 23rd in interceptions (15). Cal was also tied for 25th nationally in defensive touchdowns with three. In the Pac-12, tied for the lead league in fumbles recovered while ranking tied for second in turnovers gained and interceptions.

There was already a tremendous amount of optimism at Cal heading into the 2015 season after the Bears’ four-win improvement in 2014 that was the best turnaround for the program since 2002 and left Cal one victory shy of playing in its first bowl game since 2011.

Cal finished the 2014 season with a 5-7 overall record and a 3-6 mark in conference action to place fourth in the Pac-12 North for its highest showing since the 2011 team was also fourth. Cal won four of its first five games beginning with back-to-back victories over Northwestern and Sacramento State. After a heartbreaking loss on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game in its Pac-12 opener at Arizona, the Bears recovered by scoring a combined 119 points in back-to-back thrilling and record-setting victories over Colorado (in double overtime) and at Washington State. Cal’s 4-1 start and a 2-1 Pac-12 record put the Bears in first place (Pac-12 North) three games into the league schedule for the first time since 2006. Cal picked up its fifth and final win of the campaign at Oregon State.

The Bears set or equaled nine single-season school or modern-era school records on the offensive side of the ball in 2014. Cal established single-season records for passing yards (4,152), passing touchdowns (37),  total yards per game (495.2 ypg) and first downs passing (188), as well modern-era school records for points (459), scoring average (38.2 ppg) and touchdowns (61) that were all that were broken in 2015 and now rank third all-time also behind the 1920 team (510 points, 56.7 ppg, 72 touchdowns). Cal also tied modern-era records for PAT (56) and PAT attempts (57) in 2014. In addition, the Bears became the first Cal team in the modern era to score 55 or more points in a game three times including 40 or more five times and 30 or more on 10 occasions.

Cal ranked in the top 25 nationally in a total of seven offensive categories in 2014 including passing offense (6th, 346.0 ypg), scoring offense (10th, 38.3 ppg), total offense (13th, 495.2 ypg), fourth-down conversion percentage (14th, 67.9%, 19-28), first downs offense (19th, 319), third-down conversions (23rd, 46.1%) and team passing efficiency (24th, 145.77).

Goff set 15 single-season, single-game or single-play school records in 2014 that were broken in 2015 including passing yards (3,973), passing touchdowns (35), touchdowns responsible for (35), total offense (3,929) and 300-yard passing games (7), while his consecutive 300-yard passing games (6) and most consecutive passes without an interception (185) marks from 2014 remain school records. Goff completed 316-of-509 passes (62.1%) with seven interceptions for a 147.59 passer efficiency rating that was the fifth-best single-season mark in school history.

Goff also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in six individual categories in 2014 including passing touchdowns (5th), passing yards (5th), passing yards per game (5th, 331.1 ypg), completions per game (5th, 26.33 cpg), total offense (8th, 327.4 ypg) and points responsible for per game (9th, 18.0 ppg).

Cal was able to achieve all of this in 2014 with 42 players seeing action for the first time in their Cal career including 23 freshmen with 11 of those true freshmen. The Bears also used 19 other players for the first time in their Cal career.

Despite being an inexperienced unit that was the nation’s second-youngest to start the season and battling injuries that caused players on the preseason depth chart to miss 138 games, Cal still set school records in 2013 for single-season passing yards (3,977), pass completions (368) and total plays (1,046), with the passing yards mark being broken in 2014. The passing offense finished third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation with an average of 331.4 yards per game that was also the best in school history before being surpassed in 2014 and 2015. Cal’s 5,443 yards of total offense in 2013 is the fifth-highest total in school history and its average of 453.6 yards per game ranks sixth including the current 2015 mark.

As a true freshman in 2013, Goff started all 12 games and became the first true freshman quarterback in school history to start a season-opener. Goff set school records in passing yardage (3508), total offense (3446), completions (320), pass attempts (531) and total plays (590) in his first season as the Bears’ signal caller before late breaking all but the pass attempts marks.

Goff spread the ball around to a prolific group of wide receivers during his three seasons including a 2015 group that made Cal the only team in the nation with six different receivers with at least 40 catches, 450 yards receiving and two touchdown catches in 2015. The group included Kenny Lawler (52-658, 13 TD), Darius Powe (47-560, 8 TD), Bryce Treggs (45-956, 7 TD), Stephen Anderson (41-474, 2 TD), Trevor Davis (40-672, 2 TD) and Maurice Harris (40-558, 6 TD).

In his final season at Cal in 2015 before declaring for the 2016 NFL Draft, Lawler became the school's first wide receiver to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors since Keenan Allen in 2011. He recorded a career-high 13 touchdown catches to lead the team while ranking second in the Pac-12 and tied for eighth nationally. The 13 touchdown grabs also ranked tied for second on Cal’s all-time single-season list behind only the school-record 14 registered by Sean Dawkins in 1992. Lawler finished with 52 receptions as a junior to lead the squad for the second straight season and totaled 658 yards receiving, while finishing his career tied for second on Cal’s all-time list touchdown receptions and tied for 12th in the Pac-12 with 27 scoring grabs among 143 catches for 1,706 yards receiving over 35 games and 19 starts. He also had at least one catch in 34 of his 35 career games.

Treggs finished his career fourth all-time at Cal with 195 receptions, fifth with 2,506 yards receiving and 10th with 15 touchdown catches after catching 45 passes for a career-high 956 yards receiving to go with a career-best seven touchdown receptions in 2015. Treggs had at least one reception in 45 of the 46 games played in at Cal including each of the last 39 to fall three short of Robert Jordan’s school-record 42.

Dykes came to Cal after spending three seasons at Louisiana Tech where he directed an offense that led the nation in both scoring offense (51.50 ppg) and total offense (577.92 ypg) during his final campaign at the helm in 2012. He spent three seasons as head coach for the Bulldogs, compiling a 22-15 record and winning 16 of 17 regular-season games during one stretch over the 2011 and 2012 schedules.

During his tenure at Louisiana Tech, Dykes engineered a turnaround for a program that improved all three seasons under his leadership. The Bulldogs were 4-8 the year before he arrived in 2009, then proceeded to finish 5-7, 8-5 and 9-3 in successive campaigns. In 2011, Louisiana Tech started just 1-4 before winning seven consecutive games to capture the Western Athletic Conference title – the team’s first league championship in a decade – and a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl. Dykes was named the WAC Coach of the Year.

Dykes came to Cal after spending three seasons at Louisiana Tech where he directed an offense that led the nation in both scoring offense (51.50 ppg) and total offense (577.92 ypg) during his final campaign at the helm in 2012. He spent three seasons as head coach for the Bulldogs, compiling a 22-15 record and winning 16 of 17 regular-season games during one stretch over the 2011 and 2012 schedules.

Dykes guided his 2012 Louisiana Tech team to a 9-3 mark, including road victories over FBS opponents Illinois (52-24), Houston (56-49) and Virginia (44-28). The Bulldogs also lost a narrow 59-57 decision to a Texas A&M team that later defeated top-ranked Alabama and earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl. Louisiana Tech reached as high as No. 18 in the national polls according to USA Today and was No. 19 in the AP Top 25 after jumping out to a 9-1 start.

Dykes’ high-energy style of offense produced a prolific unit that in addition to leading the nation in both scoring offense and total offense in 2012 produced the fifth-highest per-game scoring average ever by a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The squad also finished among the NCAA’s top 20 in passing offense (3rd, 350.75 ypg), sacks allowed (7th, 0.83 per game), turnover margin (10th, +1.08 per game) and rushing offense (17th, 227.17 ypg). The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points in 11 of 12 games and over 50 points on eight occasions.

Quarterback Colby Cameron was named the 2012 WAC Offensive Player of the Year and earned the Sammy Baugh Award presented to college football’s top passer by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. 

During his tenure at Louisiana Tech, Dykes engineered a turnaround for a program that improved all three seasons under his leadership. The Bulldogs were 4-8 the year before he arrived in 2009, then proceeded to finish 5-7, 8-5 and 9-3 in successive campaigns. In 2011, Louisiana Tech started just 1-4 before winning seven consecutive games to clinch the Western Athletic Conference title – the team’s first league championship in a decade – and a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl. Dykes was named the WAC Coach of the Year.

Dykes, the son of former longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, boasts a resume that includes additional stops in the Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC, where he served under such head coaches as Mike Stoops (Arizona), Mike Leach (Texas Tech) and Hal Mumme (Kentucky).

As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona for three seasons from 2007-09, Dykes helped the Wildcats to the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl and 2009 Holiday Bowl after having not reached the postseason for 10 years. Arizona posted marks of 8-5 both seasons and tied for second in 2009 with a 6-3 league mark in what was then the Pac-10.

Under his direction, the Wildcat offense established five single-season records. Arizona ranked 10th nationally in passing yards in 2007 (308.50 ypg), and the Wildcats were 16th in scoring (36.62 ppg) and 33rd in total offense in 2008 (402.38 ypg).

Prior to his tenure at Arizona, Dykes spent seven seasons at his alma mater, Texas Tech, serving as receivers coach from 2000-04 and adding the title of co-offensive coordinator from 2005-06. The Red Raiders made seven straight postseason appearances and won 56 games during the span, including four postseason victories in the Tangerine, Houston, Holiday and Insight bowls over his last five seasons. In 2006, Dykes received the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Coach Award from the American Football Coaches Association, the same year he was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.

Dykes began his collegiate coaching career with a two-year stint from 1995-96 at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He also was a baseball assistant at Monahans High School in Texas in 1994 and a football assistant at Pearce High School outside Dallas in 1995.

Born in Big Springs, Texas, Dykes received his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Tech in 1993 and was a member of the Red Raider baseball team for two seasons. He is married to the former Kate Golding and they have two daughters, Alta (Ally) and Charlotte (Charlie).

Sonny Dykes File
Birthdate:
 November 9, 1969
Hometown: Big Springs, TX
High School: Coronado HS
College: Texas Tech, 1993, Bachelor's in History
Family: Wife, Kate; Daughters, Alta (Ally) and Charlotte (Charlie)

Collegiate Coaching History
Season: School – Position

1995: Navarro College – Running Backs
1996: Navarro College – Passing Game/Quarterbacks
1997: Kentucky – Graduate Assistant/Tight Ends
1998: Northeast Louisiana – Wide Receivers
1999: Kentucky – Special Teams/Wide Receivers
2000: Texas Tech – Wide Receivers
2001: Texas Tech – Wide Receivers
2002: Texas Tech – Wide Receivers
2003: Texas Tech – Wide Receivers
2004: Texas Tech – Wide Receivers
2005: Texas Tech – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
2006: Texas Tech – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
2007: Arizona – Offensive Coordinators/Quarterbacks
2008: 
Arizona – Offensive Coordinators/Quarterbacks
2009: Arizona – Offensive Coordinators/Quarterbacks
2010: Louisiana Tech – Head Coach
2011: Louisiana Tech – Head Coach
2012: Louisiana Tech – Head Coach
2013: Cal – Head Coach
2014: Cal – Head Coach
2015: Cal – Head Coach/Outside Receivers

Head Coaching Record
Season: School (Overall Record/Conference Record, Place)

2010: Louisiana Tech (5-7/4-4, 5th WAC)
2011: Louisiana Tech (8-5/6-1, 1st WAC)
2012: Louisiana Tech (9-3/4-2, 3rd WAC)
2013: Cal (1-11/0-9, 6th Pac-12 North)
2014: Cal (5-7/3-6, 4th Pac-12 North)
2015: Cal (8-5/4-5, T4th Pac-12 North)

Bowl History (12 Games)
Season: School – Bowl
1999: Kentucky – Music City Bowl
2000: 
Texas Tech – Gallery Furniture.com Bowl
2001: Texas Tech – Alamo Bowl
2002: Texas Tech – Tangerine Bowl
2003: Texas Tech – Houston Bowl
2004:
 Texas Tech – Holiday Bowl
2005: Texas Tech – Cotton Bowl
2006: Texas Tech – Insight Bowl
2008: Arizona – Las Vegas Bowl
2009: Arizona – Holiday Bowl
2011: Louisiana Tech – Poinsettia Bowl
2015: Cal – Armed Forces Bowl
*Season in which bowl/playoff was played

Last Updated
January 29, 2016