In an interview with ESPN and Ted Miller, Sonny Dykes discusses his goals for the program across a broad spectrum of topics: recruiting, hiring practices for assistants, and building the "right" kind of program.
Coach Dykes' endless media tour continues, this week's stop is at the ESPN Pac-12 Blog. Every time he has an interview, he provides valuable insight into what he's trying to accomplish at Cal, whether in the context of recruiting, player-coach interactions, offensive philisophy, etc. Today he talks about his goals for the program.
What is it specifically about the staff that you assembled that you like so much?
SD: The biggest thing is the dynamic for how everyone works together. Guys have to get along. Guys have to be supportive of each other and they have to be like-minded. The worst thing a coach can do is bring in an all-star staff and bring in all these guys that have different ways of wanting to do things. Your assistant coaches have to think the way coordinators think. I think that's really important. We brought our guys from Louisiana Tech so they are all on the same page. We brought in Andy Buh and he hired a good staff of guys he's worked with in the past so we're all anxious to get rolling.
Ironically enough, Dykes points to the junior college across the bay as a model of the type of program he would like to run.
How much do you recognize the rivalry with Stanford and is that game something that's high on your priority list? Or is it more a matter of rebuilding the confidence of the team at this point?
SD: I think it's both. You'd be a fool to be a coach at Cal and not understand that rivalry and what The Big Game means to Cal fans and our players. They will be a good measuring stick for us. They were Pac-12 champs and won the Rose Bowl. Obviously they are a program that's been built the right way. They recruited good student-athletes and guys who are good "program" guys. It shows you can be successful by having a long-term goal and building toward it.
Finally, he talks about his goals with Cal and addresses a topic many of us have discussed on CGB: whether MacIntyre or Dykes will be more successful.
When it comes to goal-setting, are you a long-term guy or do you think in terms of baby steps?
SD: I'm kind of a short-term guy. Our goal is to get better every day. We want to be competitive in every game. That's the No. 1 thing is to make sure our guys are playing hard and we learn how to win. Cal is a program that can be successful and has been very successful in the past. We've got to get to the point where we can't hope to win. Every time we take the field we have to expect to win and that's something that takes some time.
Speaking of expectations, people might perceive that coach Mike MacIntyre at Colorado might have an easier time because people expect it to be a rebuilding project. As you said, Cal has been successful. Do you feel like you might be expected to turn things around quicker?
SD: I think probably to an extent because of the resources we have at Cal and the history of success. They've tasted success at a very high level. When you have the resources available to you that you do, people are going to have high expectations. And you want that. That's why I'm here -- to win at a high level and do it consistently. But it takes time. We expect to be a competitive football team and win football games early. We have to stay healthy and develop depth. But that's why you come to a place like Cal because I believe it's a place where you can get stuff done.
Once again, another excellent interview from the coach.
- Cal and Tedford have formally settled his buyout. He will be paid $5.55 million over the next three years unless he earns more than $1.5m as a college head coach of NFL head or assistant coach. Beyond that amount, Cal will owe less.
- Tony Mekari shares his recruiting diary. He gives a unique perspective into the exciting life of a recruit during the final days before signing day. He enjoyed some mini donuts in SF, spent many hours in and around the Memorial Stadium facilities, and bought Cal gear for his family of thirty.
- For the second year in a row, one of our best lineman switched to Oregon. This year's decommittment comes from Cameron Hunt. Cal dropped to 27th in Rivals' recruiting rankings and 24th in Scout's rankings.
- Zach Yenser talks to Rivals about being the youngest coach on the staff, his recruiting philosophy, and the process of joining the Bears.
- Days after Monty earned his 100th win with the Bears, Coach Gottlieb earned her 100th career victory. The Bears beat Oregon in traditional fashion, with suffocating defense and strong rebounding.
- Jorge Gutierrez is doing what he does best in the NBA D-league. He has steadily improved over the past couple months and is a valuable, versatile asset to the Canton Charge, which sits at first place in the east division. The playoffs begin in a couple weeks.
- Gennifer Brandon and Layshia Clarendon were added to the Wade Watch List, given to the nation's best player.
- Pac-12 coaches picked the Bears to repeat as conference champions. Cal received seven first-place votes.
- Jolene Henderson earned a spot on the USA Softball Player of the Year watch list and was named to the ESPN Preseason All-America Team.
- Former team captain Frank Mattarocci passed away at the age of 81. He also played football and earned several team awards as a lineman.
- The fourth-ranked Bears won three of their four matches at the Stanford Invitational en route to a third-place finish.
- Despite some injury issues, the women's team put together a series of strong performances on the road against no. 14 Oregon State. The Beavers narrowly won 196.050-194.700.
- The men's team suffered its first loss of the season, 413.400-439.350 at Michigan.