Dec. 6, 2012
BERKELEY - Sonny Dykes was introduced as the Cal head football coach during a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Memorial Stadium Field Club.
"I just want to start by saying, first of all, I can't really begin to say how special it is to be standing here today as the head coach at Cal," Dykes said in his opening statement to a gathering that included media and a wide range of people from the campus community. "I'm truly blown away. I've been in this profession a long time. I've seen a lot of these jobs that have come open, things have happened. There were a lot of great jobs open this year, and this is the one that I was interested in from day one because of the great traditions at Cal, the great challenges that Cal has, but the great resources that Cal has as well."
Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour and Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance John Wilton also spoke at the event.
"He is committed to student athletes and their success in all facets of their lives, what their lives can be and will become," Barbour said of Cal's new head football coach. "He embraces and has sought out the challenges of an academically rigorous institution and all that comes with it. He had several opportunities to skirt that challenge, but he persisted in his pursuit of the Cal job with all the determination and resilience that I know he will apply to his leadership role with Cal football."
"I couldn't be more thrilled and happy to kick this press conference off and welcome our new football coach, Sonny Dykes," Wilton offered. "I wanted to say that both myself and the chancellor were directly involved in the selection process, in advising Sandy, in making this choice. We were really privileged to have an absolutely wonderful roster of potential candidates. We were lucky to be able to get our first choice in that pool of candidates."
Dykes, 43, brings 18 years of collegiate coaching experience to Berkeley. He spent the past three seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he compiled a 22-15 record and won 16 of 17 regular season games during one stretch over the 2011 and '12 seasons. This past year, Dykes guided Louisiana Tech to a 9-3 mark and reached as high as No. 18 in the USA Today Poll and No. 19 in the AP Top 25 after jumping out to a 9-1 start.
During his years at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., Dykes engineered a turnaround for the 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, and then won seven consecutive games to clinch the Western Athletic Conference title - the team's first conference championship in a decade - and a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl. Dykes was named the WAC Coach of the Year for the effort.
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).
Born in Big Spring, Texas, and a 1993 graduate of Texas Tech with a degree in history, Dykes lettered in three years for the Red Raider baseball team. He is married to the former Kate Golding and they have two daughters, Alta (Ally) and Charlotte (Charlie).
Details on a contract with the University are still being finalized and are not available at this time. As part of normal policy, the contract will be released once it is approved by the UC Board of Regents.