Lyle Setencich
Lyle Setencich

Player Profile
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

5th year

Alma Mater:
Fresno State '69

COACHING: Arguably the top defensive coordinator in the Pacific-10 since his arrival in 1997, Lyle Setencich added the title of associate head coach under Tom Holmoe in 1999, a designation that clearly defines his role as Holmoe's chief counsel on football matters.

His resurrection of the Cal defense has been well chronicled, as the Bears have gone from 10th in the league in total defense the year before Setencich arrived, to eighth (80 yards fewer per game) his first year at the helm, to third in 1998 and finally to the No. 1 spot in 1999. Last year's group ranked third in rushing defense, allowing only 2.7 yards per carry, and led the Pac-10 in sacks with 44. Setencich began coaching as an assistant at Mt. Diablo HS in Concord. He was head coach at both Albany HS and San Ramon HS before moving to the collegiate level as the defensive coordinator at Boise State in 1979.

In 1980, Boise State won the Division I-AA national championship and the following year, Setencich was named head coach. While serving in that capacity from 1983-86, the Broncos posted a 24-20 record. He moved back to California to take over the Cal Poly SLO program and served as its head coach for seven seasons, compiling a 41-29-2 record from 1987-93. He served as the University of the Pacific's defensive coordinator in 1994, helping the Tigers to a 6-5 record, the best mark at the school in 17 years. After the year at UOP, Setencich joined Arizona State's staff as linebacker coach. His influence was felt in dramatic fashion in '96, when the Sun Devils were ranked first in the Pac-10 in total defense (304.7 ypg). Considering ASU was last in total defense the previous season (426.6 ypg), the '96 season was a vast improvement.

PLAYER: Setencich was a two-year letterman at Fresno State from 1966-68 and played for Darryl Rogers.

PERSONAL: Setencich, 56, was born June 4, 1945 in Reedley, Calif. He graduated with a degree in biological sciences from Fresno State in 1969. He spent one year in the Army Medical Corps before beginning his coaching career. He and his wife, Kathy, have one son, Peter.

  • Favorite Coaching Moment: After a 7-yard run by our running back midway through my first season as head coach at Albany HS in 1973, realizing how much we had improved since the start of the year.
  • Favorite Book: The Source by James Michener
  • Favorite Movie: Jerry Maguire
  • Most Influential Coaches in Career: 1. Bill Dutton, 2. Al Baldock, 3. Ray Willsey
  • Favorite Off-field Activity or Hobby: Fly-fishing