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Rob Likens is in his first season as the assistant head coach/outside receivers coach at Cal in 2013 after being hired on December 11, 2012. Likens served as an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach for Cal head coach Sonny Dykes at Louisiana Tech the last three seasons, including in 2012 when the Bulldogs posted a 9-3 record and led the nation in scoring offense and total offense by averaging 51.50 points and 577.92 yards of total offense per game.
"I have known Rob Likens and admired his coaching abilities for a long time," Dykes said upon Likens' hiring. "When I had the opportunity to hire him three years ago at Louisiana Tech I jumped at the chance, and he was everything that I believed he would be and more. He has great knowledge of the offense we will install at Cal, and I'm ecstatic that he's decided to join our staff."
"I really enjoy working with coach Dykes," Likens said. "I can't wait until everybody around here gets to meet him. We're very like-minded offensively, but we're also like-minded on how to treat people and lead student-athletes."
"There's not a doubt in my mind that coach Dykes is going to be ultra-successful at Cal because he does it the right way," Likens continued. "He makes you want to be not only a better player and a better student, but also a better person. One of the reasons I got into football was the impact you can have on young men. It's fantastic to get to work for a guy who understands the importance of that."
Likens coached 2012 second-team AP All-American and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Quinton Patton, who was a major contributor to the team's prolific scoring offense and selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Likens directed one of the most potent wide receiver corps in the country in 2012 led by Patton, who paced the Western Athletic Conference in both per-game receiving yards (116.00 ypg) and receptions (8.67 rpg), while ranking fourth and fifth in the nation, respectively. He finished with totals of 104 catches, 1,392 receiving yards and 13 touchdown catches.
In addition to leading the country in scoring offense and total offense with an offense that posted the fifth-highest per-game scoring average ever by a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Louisiana Tech was among the NCAA's top 20 in 2012 in passing offense (3rd, 350.75 ypg), fewest sacks allowed (7th, 0.83 spg), turnover margin (10th, +1.08 per game) and rushing offense (18th, 227.17 ypg). The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points in 11 of 12 games and over 50 points on eight occasions.
Likens coached a group of 2011 receivers that registered 3,229 receiving yards with 21 touchdown catches during a campaign that included a stretch of seven consecutive wins and a WAC championship. Patton, a 2011 Biletnikoff Award Watch List member, finished the year with 1,202 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in becoming the first Bulldog receiver to reach 1,000 yards receiving since 2000.
In his first year at Tech in 2010, Likens oversaw a receiving corps that helped the Bulldogs improve from a No. 91 national ranking in passing offense in 2009 to No. 62 in 2010 despite a revolving door at quarterback through the first third of the season.
Prior to his three-year stint at Louisiana Tech, Likens served for four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Central Connecticut State (2006-09) and led the Blue Devils to more wins than in any other four-year period in school history.
CCSU had winning records during each of Likens' four seasons, capped off with a 9-3 mark in 2009 that included a Northeast Conference title and an appearance in the Gridiron Classic, as he coached the ground game to a top 10 national ranking among Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools each year.
Under Likens' guidance, the Blue Devils led the conference in scoring offense two times, had three undefeated home records and averaged just under 30 points per game in four seasons (29.1 ppg). Likens coached a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, Walter Payton Award finalists, All-America running backs and NEC Offensive Players of the Year in Justise Hairston and James Mallory.
The Blue Devils averaged 239.18 yards per game on the ground in 2008 to rank seventh in the FCS when the team also paced the Northeast Conference in scoring offense, averaging 30.0 points per game. Mallory rushed for 1,520 yards and earned second-team All-NEC honors, becoming the second player in school history to crack the 1,500 mark in rushing.
In 2007, CCSU led the NEC in both per-game total offense (387.7 ypg) and rushing offense (257.6 ypg), ranking 10th nationally in the latter.
The Blue Devil offense set numerous school records in 2006, including total yards (4,271) and rushing yards (3,150) in a single season. CCSU led the nation in rushing yards per game (284.9 ypg) and finished 10th in total offense (386.8 ypg). As a team, CCSU set a new school mark with 42 rushing touchdowns and scored a school-record 51 touchdowns in 11 games.
Hairston set the school's single-season record and was the nation's leading FCS rusher in 2006 with 1,847 yards. He earned AP All-America, AFCA All-America, Sports Network Mid-Major All-America and NEC Offensive Player of the Year honors that season. Hairston was eighth in the final Walter Payton Award balloting, played in the Hula Bowl and Texas vs. the Nation Game, and was a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2007 NFL Draft.
In all, CCSU's offense produced eight team records and six individual and game records under Likens. He coached four-first team All-NEC selections, four second-team All-NEC choices and five NEC Offensive Player of the Week honorees, giving him 13 all-conference picks in his four seasons.
Prior to joining Central Connecticut State, Likens spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State (2004-05), where he also worked specifically with the team's quarterbacks and wide receivers. He also spent six campaigns at both Temple (1998-2003) as the wide receivers coach and North Alabama (1992-97), where he worked with the running backs for the first season of his tenure and the wide receivers for his final five. At North Alabama, he helped the Lions become the first program in NCAA scholarship football to win three consecutive playoff championships, a feat that has only since been replicated by Appalachian State (2005-07).
Likens played collegiate football as a wide receiver at Mississippi State, earning his bachelor's degree and graduating cum laude in 1990 in math education. He earned his master's degree in match education from North Alabama in 1995.
Likens and his wife, Soni, have a son, Nicolas Cutter.
The Likens File
Collegiate Coaching History
Bowl Games (2)/NCAA Playoff History(15 Games/5 Seasons)
*Season in which bowl game was played
Last Updated: July 22, 2013