We're probably getting a clean slate later this morning.
Getting further confirmation from sources that all five #Cal assistants were not retained.— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) December 11, 2012
UPDATE: Official now.
Just talked to Cal WRs coach Wes Chandler on status of five assistants: "We're out." New coach Sonny Dykes will hire entirely new staff.— Jeff Faraudo (@CalBearsBANG) December 11, 2012
Obviously, for sentimental reasons, I would have been happy to see Ron Gould come back, and I doubt many would've objected to him returning. But there are plenty of reasons to let him go. Gould might not have been the best coach for Dykes's system of offense, which while placing emphasis on the run utilizes a different set of schemes than the ones Gould is familiar with. Gould was a young guy when Tedford decided to keep him on staff; he will be 48 years old next September, and he has reportedly struggled with his health. Also, Dykes is probably going to bring his own man on staff in running back coach Pierre Ingram, who has done a good job distributing carries properly.
Gould is still one of the most successful Cal assistants in Golden Bear history, and his legacy was fully on display the last few weeks when Shane Vereen, Justin Forsett and Marshawn Lynch all suited up and played prominent roles on NFL playoff contenders. Gould's running backs were undoubtedly the cornerstone of Cal's offense through the Tedford era, and they provided us with some of our greatest moments. If Gould wants another job, he should be able to find one rather quickly.
Thanks for 16 years of service Ron. You'll always be a Golden Bear to us.
Also being let go is offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik. You figured that if Dykes planned on retaining Coach M, he would only want him back if he decided to take a paycut and move back to only coaching the offensive line. Tony Franklin figures to take over as the offensive coordinator; it remains to be seen who will come in to coach the offensive line.
We've had our ups and downs with Coach M, but at the beginning of his tenure his offensive lines bulldozed the Pac-10 and paved the way for Gould's running backs. Unfortunately, his Pac-12 days haven't been quite as sharp, and his tenure as offensive coordinator was an abysmal failure. It definitely feels time to reboot here, although he has definitely helped mentor and coach some impressive O-line in the league like Mack, De La Puente and Schwartz.
Also going are quarterback coach Marcus Arroyo and wide receiver coach Wes Chandler. Franklin will probably in charge of coaching the QBs as the OC, and at least one receiving coach position (there are generally two for the Airraid) will go to Louisiana Tech WR coach Rob Likens. It is unknown if Dykes will be bringing in his entire offensive staff from Louisiana Tech, but expect Likens, Franklin and Ingram to definitely be part of the new staff. I really wasn't expecting either of these guys to stick.
Defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose also will be let go. It's quite possible Dykes just wants the defensive coordinator he chooses to hire his own staff, so there's a possibility that Ambrose (and other former Cal defensive coaches) will get their chance to come back, but he would probably have to re-interview for the job. For now though, Cal is vacant of assistants.
This is a rather bold move by Dykes to not keep any holdovers, but in some ways this makes perfect sense. This will leave the Bears with no coaching personnel familiar with the current players. If Dykes doesn't manage his players right, it could end up alienating not only recruits but certain players on the team. Dykes will have to play his cards right and ensure the new coaching staff is ready for the task at hand. Otherwise, he could find his task of rebuilding the Bears even more formidable than he had anticipated going into this season.
Ultimately though, considering all the history of each of the coaches have with Cal, it might be a good idea to start fresh. Cal was a dysfunctional team last year, and many of the coaching staff underachieved this past season. Obviously, it might sting in the short-term, but I feel the majority of players will be able to get over losing a coaching staff that went 3-9 last year.
The Tedford era is done, and it's time for Dykes to find coaches who can make the most of the talent that's available to them at Memorial.