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Who do you think should be considered as the next Cal football head coach?

Yesterday we took a look at what qualities we think a new head coach for Cal ought to have. And for the most part everyone was on the same page. But now, let's see what names we think fit the bill and who we'd love to see on the Cal sideline in the (possibly sooner rather than later) future.


Before we get to the roundtable, be sure and check out AERose's comprehensive post that covers some of the names below and then some. Seriously, go read that if you haven't already.


Pipe Dreams

  • Chris Petersen: Boise State's head coach. 'Nuff said. Unfortunately, he's probably never leaving Boise State.
  • Jon Gruden: Super Bowl-winning longtime NFL head coach. He has expressed interest in returning to coaching, although Tennessee fans seem to think he'll go there (Dooley has a HUGE buyout, though).
  • Pete Carroll: He may not live to see another season at Seattle. We all know how well his teams did in the Pac-10. Would you make that deal? I'd make that deal.


  • Dan Mullen: he turned around Mississippi State and made them relevant again. He's a hot coaching prospect whose name was popping up throughout last year's hiring season. He's earning about $2.7 million, so it's unclear if we can pony up enough to get him to jump ship.
  • Sonny Dykes: offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Arizona before getting a head coaching gig at Louisiana Tech. Won the WAC and WAC Coach of the Year in his second season, currently leads an 8-1, ranked LA Tech team. Rumor has it he's interested in moving west if a good coaching gig opens up.
  • Charlie Strong: I've heard several people on CGB express interest in strong. I'm not sold. He's 8-0 so far this year, but he was 7-6 in each of the past two seasons.
  • Gary Andersen: Another semi-popular candidate. Leads a strong, defensive Utah State team. They're 6-2 so far this year, but only 15-22 over the past three seasons.
  • Mark Helfrich: Oregon OC. The big question is how much control he has over the offense and how much success can be attributed to him.

TwistNHook: I'm not good with names. I get the feeling that Cal is looking for a hotshot assistant (like Coach Tedford was lo those many moons ago). I am not really smart or knowledgeable. Additionally, when it comes to college football, I do not have the greatest depth of information on who all the good assistants are. I hear good stuff about this Lupoi character up in Washington. Do you think we could get him down here!??!

Seriously, though, I do not know anybody. Sorry.

Kodiak: I'll nominate Herm Edwards. Just because it'll make some people very happy. I don't know enough about the college coaching landscape to offer any intelligent suggestions. I do know that the guys touting Manny Diaz are complete idjuts, however.

JahvidKnowsBest: Charlie Strong of Louisville. This guy has coached under Lou Holtz and Urban Meyer. He's a badass and he has Louisville ranked and bowl bound.

Dan Mullen of Missippi State. Similar resume as Strong. Is winning at MSU.

Herm Edwards. I like the big name factor here. I think Edwards would be good for program recognition and recruiting.

Chis Peterson of Boise State. This is who I really want. Although he is essentially god at Boise, I think there are several factors which could entice him to come to Cal. One, he is a local, norcal guy who went to UC Davis. Two, although he has dominated the Mountain West, there is definitely a ceiling to his success playing inside a small conference. If he wants to become one of the true big names in college football, he needs to win in a major conference. Coupled with our young talent, and state of the art facilities, I think all of these factors make coaching at Cal an attractive offer for this guy.

Vincent S: I think Ron Rivera has been thrown around a few times. With the way things are going at his current gig, it's entirely possible he will be available at the end of the season. On one hand, his NFL record is not exactly that of Bill Belichick; on the other hand, he would not be available if it was. A former Cal Bear himself, he brings some reputation (recruits should know who he is), and (I believe?) has expressed interest at some point in the past.

Of course, Tom Hanks has wanted to play halfback for us, and I don't think he's coming.

Unclesam22: I'd really like to see James Franklin at Vandy be considered. While he hasn't set the world on fire, he also turned an academics first school in the football crazy SEC into an upstart program that's on the rise. Seems like someone that would understand both the academic and sporting side of Cal.

Other than that, Chris Peterson is about the only other candidate that I'd be excited about, but that seems like a pipe dream at this point. I'm pretty weak on hotshot assistants and FBS/ mid-major programs, so I have no clue about any of those options.

TwistNHook: As for a canddiate, what about Kirby Smart? The DC for Alabama can't be THAT bad.

Berkelium97: He has been the Alabama DC since 2008 and we all know how solid 'Bama's defense has been since then. The biggest challenge seems to be luring him away from SEC territory. He's an Alabama native and has never been involved with football outside the Southeast. He's making about $750k, so we could give him a substantial raise.

TwistNHook: I wonder if I could convince him. Some people have said I'm very charming. Should I call him?

Berkelium97: It certainly can't hurt. You convinced Mrs. TwistNHook to marry you, so you must have some expert negotiating skills!

Unclesam22: If an in home visit is required, I'll offer my guest room for you to stay in.

solarise: Tedford can stay, but I'm sold on Bob Stitt as our next OC. We need change:

Ohio Bear: Honestly, I'm not comfortable throwing names out there. Not because I don't see the writing on the wall that it is time for Coach Tedford's tenure to end, but because I feel like no matter what names I throw out there in response to this question, I will either be deemed unrealistic (if, for example, I suggest a high profile coach who already has a job) or that I am underselling Cal by "settling" for the hot coordinator. But I'll play this game anyway, and list one name of the person (as unrealistic as it might seem) I would propose as a replacement.


It's no secret that I don't particularly like Boise State, but I respect the hell out of the way Petersen has sustained the success of that program. Even though Boise State has risen to national prominence, it can't be easy to recruit there -- it's not in a BCS conference and it''s Boise. (Apologies to those who like Boise and Idaho. I don't find it to be that compelling a place. And I say that as an Ohio resident.) Armed with the resources and facilities available at Cal (thanks in no small part to Jeff Tedford himself), Petersen could do well in Berkeley.

It's not just the recruiting. Look at his teams. They play hard, fast, disciplined, and with no fear. This year's team certainly was not up to Boise State standards (due in no small part to having to replace Kellen Moore) set by the previous years, but they've improved from the start of the season.

Do I think Petersen is realistic? Gun to my head, no, I don't, because I don't think he's leaving Boise for very many jobs (if any). But he'd be my guy if there's a chance.