|Position:||Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
|Hometown:||Fergus Falls, MN|
|High School:||Fergus Falls HS|
|Alma Mater:||Concordia College (Minnesota)|
|Major:||Business & Physical Education|
Mark Tommerdahl is in his third season as the special teams coordinator at Cal in 2015 and his first with added duties as the program’s assistant head coach.
Tommerdahl’s 2014 special teams units featured kick returner/wide receiver Trevor Davis, who is a candidate for the 2015 Paul Hornung Award that is given annually to college football’s most versatile player. Davis averaged a single-season school-record 32.6 yards per kick return to rank second in the nation in 2014 and also tied for second nationally with a pair of kick returns for touchdowns to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors from Phil Steele among a long list of honors. Davis had one of the most memorable games by an individual in the history of Cal football in a wild 60-59 win at Washington State when he equaled NCAA and Pac-12 single-game records by becoming the 20th player in FBS history and the third in the Pac-12 to bring back two kick returns for touchdowns in a single game on consecutive kick returns of 100 and 98 yards. His 99.0 yards per return average was also a single-game school record and his 100-yard kick return the longest by a Cal player since 1999.
Placekicker James Langford was also solid in his lone season as the team’s kicker as he made each of his eight field goal attempts from 41 yards or closer and provided one of the biggest moments of the season when he nailed a 34-yard field goal in the second overtime of a wild 59-56 double overtime win over Colorado.
Cal allowed an opponents’ net punting average of only 34.2 yards per punt to lead the Pac-12 in 2014.
In Tommerdahl’s first season in 2013 placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato and punter Cole Leininger received honors after showing great improvement.
D’Amato was a second-team All-Pac-12 choice of the league’s coaches and a third-team selection of Athlon and Phil Steele. He was also a national semifinalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, a final candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic pick, and played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl following the season. D’Amato made 17-of-20 (85.0%) field goal attempts to rank tied for second in the Pac-12 and tied for 23rd nationally in field goal percentage. He was also tied for third in the conference and tied for 25th nationally in field goals made per game (1.42 fgmpg).
Leininger was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection according to College Sports Madness after his 42.9-yard punting average that was a full three yards better than his 2012 mark ranked third in the Pac-12 and 33rd nationally. He was also a member of the watch list for the Ray Guy Award honoring the nation’s top punter.
“Mark Tommerdahl is one of the elite special teams coaches in the country who has been a key member of staffs at the top level of college football,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “He has an impeccable track record in developing top specialists and producing some of the strongest special teams play in the nation.”
Tommerdahl also worked with the team’s inside receivers of Cal’s record-breaking offense in both 2013 and 2014, while also coaching the team’s fullbacks in the latter of the two campaigns.
“Cal is a program with a strong long-standing tradition of overall excellence,” Tommerdahl said. “Our objectives remain to revive that tradition and build upon it. It is an honor to represent one of the elite academic institutions in the country. We simply need to perform and recruit to the level of this fine institution.”
Tommerdahl has served on coaching staffs of 13 bowl teams as well as six league champions and two division winners at some of the top Division I football programs in the country over his three decades as a collegiate coach.
Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Tommerdahl spent four seasons at Louisiana Tech from 2009-12, including the final three as the special teams coordinator and inside receivers coach under Dykes. During his tenure with the Bulldogs, he tutored a pair of All-Americans in two-time first-team selection punter Ryan Allen (2011, ’12) and tight end Dennis Morris (2009), with Allen punting in all 32 regular-season games and five postseason contests for the Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots during the 2013 and 2014 after signing an undrafted free agent contract with the NFL team following his 2012 collegiate season.
In addition to leading the country in scoring offense and total offense with a unit 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.
Louisiana Tech also led the nation in 2012 in net punting with a 43.51 average behind the performance of Allen, who became the first back-to-back and second two-time winner of the Ray Guy Award that was first given in 2000. Allen led the nation in punting in 2012 with a school-record 48.04 yards per punt average, punting 45 times for 2,162 yards. He had 21 punts of 50 yards or more, including the nation’s longest punt of the season with an 85-yarder at New Mexico State. Allen also pinned opponents inside the 20-yard-line on 20 occasions with only five touchbacks.
Allen’s 2012 campaign followed a 2011 season in which he was the only player from a non-BCS school to win a national award after averaging 46.12 yards per punt to rank fifth nationally. The Bulldogs were eighth in the country in net punting (40.12 ypg) and also led the nation in kickoff coverage.
In 2010, Louisiana Tech led the WAC and ranked 10th nationally in punt returns with an average of 13.63 yards per return, while ranking fourth in the conference and 25th nationally in kick returns (23.52 ypg). Much of the Bulldogs’ prowess was due to the play of Phillip Livas, who led the WAC and ranked sixth nationally with an average of 15.50 yards per punt return. Livas was also fifth in the WAC and 49th nationally in kick returns with a 24.63 yard average. Livas played his final two seasons for Tommerdahl during a career in which he tied an NCAA all-time record with a combined eight kick and punt return touchdowns, bringing back four of each for scores.
Morris garnered All-American honors and was named the Tight End Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards in 2009 with 38 catches for 623 yards receiving and 12 touchdown catches that were the most nationally among tight ends that season. In addition, Tommerdahl’s punt return squad led the WAC and ranked 25th nationally (12.33 ypr).
Tommerdahl spent the 2008 season as an assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Louisiana-Monroe. He developed first-team All-Sun Belt tight end Kenneth Zacharie and also had a kickoff coverage team that led the conference.
For five seasons from 2003-07, Tommerdahl was the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas A&M. During his tenure with the Aggies, Tommerdahl helped lead the program to the Cotton Bowl (2004), Holiday Bowl (2006) and Alamo Bowl (2007).
Tommerdahl’s special teams units at Texas A&M were also among the nation’s best, ranking in the top 25 in the nation in net punting in 2006 (37.00 nypp, 25th) and 2007 (39.17 nypp, 5th), and in kickoff returns in 2003 (23.90 ypr, 10th), 2006 (26.08 ypr, 3rd) and 2007 (23.54 ypr, 20th).
He coached current Chicago Bears’ tight end Martellus Bennett, who ended his Texas A&M career as the program’s all-time leader at the position in receptions and yards receiving. During the 2005 season at Texas A&M, Tommerdahl coached a pair of Freshman All-Americans in Bennett and punter Justin Brantly.
Tommerdahl spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons at Alabama as the program’s special teams coordinator and tight ends coach, helping the Crimson Tide to the 2001 Independence Bowl and 2002 SEC West Division title when the squad finished 11th in the final AP Top 25.
Tommerdahl also served as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach during stints at TCU (1998-2000), New Mexico (1997) and Minnesota (1995-96), coaching a Lou Groza Award semifinalist at all three schools. He added recruiting coordinator duties at Minnesota.
TCU won a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles in 1999 and 2000 on its way to appearances in the Mobile Alabama Bowl each season. Tommerdahl’s special teams groups made significant contributions, with a kickoff return unit that was ranked first nationally both campaigns while his special teams squads led the league in three of four statistical categories each season.
In 1997 at New Mexico, four of the Lobos’ special teams units were ranked in the top 20 in the country as the team won the WAC Mountain Division title and played in the Insight.com Bowl.
A native of Fergus Falls, Minn., Tommerdahl began his collegiate coaching career in 1984 with a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Wyoming, where he spent 11 seasons serving in numerous capacities also including offensive coordinator, backfield coach, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped lead the Cowboys to four bowl appearances and three WAC titles during his tenure.
Tommerdahl earned bachelor’s degrees in business and physical education from Concordia College in Minnesota in 1983, and an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from Wyoming in 1986. He is married to the former Annette Jondahl.
Mark Tommerdahl File
|Birthdate:||February 20, 1961|
|Hometown:||Fergus Falls, MN|
|High School:||Fergus Falls HS|
|College:||Concordia College (Minnesota), 1982
Bachelor's in Business and Physical Education
Collegiate Coaching History
|1987||Wyoming||Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator|
|1988||Wyoming||Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator|
|1989||Wyoming||Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator|
|1990||Wyoming||Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|1995||Minnesota||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator|
|1996||Minnesota||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator|
|1997||New Mexico||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|1998||TCU||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|1999||TCU||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2000||TCU||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2001||Alabama||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2002||Alabama||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2003||Texas A&M||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2004||Texas A&M||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2005||Texas A&M||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2006||Texas A&M||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2007||Texas A&M||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2008||Louisiana Monroe||Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2009||Louisiana Tech||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends|
|2010||Louisiana Tech||Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers|
|2011||Louisiana Tech||Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers|
|2012||Louisiana Tech||Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers|
|2013||Cal||Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers|
|2014||Cal||Special Teams Coordiantor/Tight Ends/Fullbacks|
|2015||Cal||Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
Bowl History (13 Games)
|1997||New Mexico||Insight.com Bowl|
|1999||TCU||Mobile Alabama Bowl|
|2000||TCU||Mobile Alabama Bowl|
|2004||Texas A&M||Cotton Bowl|
|2006||Texas A&M||Holiday Bowl|
|2007||Texas A&M||Alamo Bowl|
|2011||Louisiana Tech||Poinsettia Bowl|
*Season in which bowl game was played
July 29, 2015