After Sonny Dykes' press conference on Thursday, players had the chance to talk with the media about their new coach. Allan Bridgford sounds excited about the Bear Raid.
On whether he is personally a good fit for the offense Dykes is expected to install:
"Coming out of high school, I was recruited pretty hard by Texas Tech and that was one of my final schools that I was thinking about because of that offense. I thought it would fit me really well. So for me personally, I think this offense is about a lot of accuracy, decision making, distributing the ball, stuff like that, and that would definitely be my strong suit."
On learning a new playbook:
"That isn't a concern. That's stuff you have to deal with in football if you get a new offense or a new coach. I don't think it will be too tough to pick it up. It's all about getting reps at it. I can't wait to get one in my hand so I can learn it. It's going to be good."
On having to prove who you are to a new coach:
"Everybody starts at square one and we're going to have to earn our coach's respect over time through our actions and through our play. That's something that shouldn't be a concern for everybody if they're used to doing things the right way all the time. And for guys who haven't been that way, they have a chance to start over and maybe correct mistakes they've made in the past, which will be good for this team."
On his optimism for playing in Dykes' system as a quarterback :
"What quarterback wouldn't like the thought of throwing the ball 60 times a game or whatever it is. It sounds like a lot of fun. I'm really excited."
Bridgford talked about Dykes' first meeting with the team and how the new coach will change the program's approach to academics and discipline. He provides some good insight into how things have gone downhill over the past several years.
On the message Dykes delivered in his first team meeting:
"His first message was definitely along the lines of trust, accountability and fairness. He's going to hold everyone to the same standard, which is doing the best you can every day when you wake up, get everything you have to get done, whether it's in classroom, on the field or just as member of society. And he talked about the fact that he's going to have to earn our trust and we're going to have to earn his trust. Once that happens, he was talking about how that was going to be a great thing for the team."
On whether academic discipline will improve as part of that accountability:
"Absolutely. And the thing is, the majority of the people have done a good job, it's just a couple of people that really bring [the Academic Progress Rate] down. So it's all about shortening the gap between the most committed person and the least committed person so that we have everybody committed. All it is, is trying. If you try, you'll be fine. We have the resources here to get the work done, no matter how smart you are and what background you come from, we have the resources to help. It's just about how much you care."
On whether discipline in general was a problem this past season:
"If you look at our record, the penalties, I don't think people were trying to be undisciplined, they had every intention to be disciplined, but it's definitely something we have to work on. A lot of people around here know that we have to change our culture to become more disciplined, whether it's in school or on the field."
- At his first press conference Dykes talked about how discipline on the field goes hand-in-hand with academics.
- Hal Mumme, Spike Dykes, and Mike Leach expect big things from Cal this fall.
- Crumpacker ponders who will be Dykes' first star in the Bear Raid offense. He seems to think Richard Rodgers will break out under the direction of Dykes and Franklin.
- Sonny Dykes will be at the men's game today and he looks forward to meeting fans.
- Three-star CB Cameron Walker became Sonny Dykes' first commit. He said he heard great things about Dykes from his future teammates.
- The women's team nearly doubled up Cal State Bakersfield in an 84-46 victory.
- Richard Solomon talks about how his ineligibility last year had a tremendous impact on him. Monty agrees that it taught him an important life lesson about taking responsibility.
- Monty and the Bears recognize that this week's games will play a big role in determining how the NCAA selection committee rates the Bears.
Swimming and Diving
Track and Field
- Cal signed the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the nation. The new Bears should make a big impact when the season begins next month.
- Former Cal star Martin Maric won Co-Croatian Male Athlete of the Year.