I talked earlier in the week about how important it would be for Sonny Dykes to find another coach who has excellent knowledge about the Airraid, as the blocking schemes employed in that offense are particular to that style.
The biggest issue remaining for Cal's coaching staff is finding an offensive line coach. At this point you have to imagine that Cal is waiting for their potential candidate in Chris Thomsen.
Looks like Sonny Dykes might add #TexasTech's interim HC Chris Thomsen to be his OL coach at Cal. Would be a great fit for both parties.— Chris Level (@ChrisLevel) December 23, 2012
I didn't think Thomsen was a candidate (he was a Texas guy so I figure he'd want to stay in-state), but if so he's a pretty good one. He's fairly young at 42 years old. Kliff Kingsbury decided to hire another Airraid guy (Lee Hays from Houston) for offensive line, but there's no reason to think Thomsen wouldn't have been capable of coming back and producing. Thomsen's offensive line at Texas Tech helped unless a top-20 scoring attack and one of the most efficient pass attacks in the country while allowing only 18 sacks. So he definitely knows how to be successful in that system.
Additionally, when he was the head coach at Division II Abilene Christian from 2005-2011, he led his team to six straight winning seasons and six straight playoff appearances, including a Division II quarterfinal. ACU also ran plenty of Airraid concepts and Thomsen was instrumental in coaching up the offensive line.
There are a few concerns about Thomsen, particularly with trying to get talented players on the field regardless of academic concerns. The NCAA stripped ACU of all ten of their wins from the 2007 season when current NFLers like wide receiver Johnny Knox and running back Bernard Scott were found guilty of completing online correspondence courses in the offices of assistant coaches. This was to assist academically troubled players like Knox and Scott become eligible to play sports. That academic issue will have to be examined closely, because that's not going to fly at Cal.
Whatev. He's a talented guy, he recruits Texas well, and he won't be the head coach here. I doubt it will be much of an issue if Dykes is running a tight ship. This is an important hire and Dykes has to make sure he has his guy. If this is the top man, then so be it.
If Thomsen is the choice, it's possible we might be waiting at least another week before an official announcement. Thomsen has to coach Texas Tech in their bowl game this Friday against Minnesota.