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Golden Nuggets: How does the departure of Athletic Director Sandy Barbour affect Coach Sonny Dykes?

Uncle Ted shares his wisdom about how a new athletic director affects the future of Coach Sonny Dykes.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday afternoon, my personal best friend Ted Miller ranked the Pac-12 coaches by job security, placing Sonny Dykes dead last for the nightmare that was 2013.

Dykes is only in his second season, which typically would mean he's safe. The conventional wisdom is a coach needs at least three and preferably five years to be fairly evaluated. But college football has become far less patient with losing -- even academic bastions like Berkeley -- and Cal has spent a bunch of cash for fancy facilities upgrades. The expectation here is Dykes will be back in 2015 if his team wins three or four games and shows improvement in terms of soundness and consistent focus. But he can't afford another feckless 1-11 season.

Just a few hours later, CGB broke the news that Sandy Barbour would be stepping down from her position of Athletic Director and EVERYTHING CHANGED THE SKY IS FALLING THE END IS NIGH.

Uncle Ted then posted a Mailbag question asking about Dykes's job security in this new and scary Cal landscape; would five wins be enough to ensure a Year Three for the Bear Raid?

Short answer: Yes.

I also think that if he wins four or even three games and the Bears are far more competitive on both sides of the ball than they were in 2013, he deserves a third season, unless things go haywire off the field.


Of course, when a football coach of a struggling team sees the athletic director who hired him depart, he knows he is losing an important administrative relationship. ADs and the coaches they hire in revenue sports are tied at the hip. When one suffers, so does the other. In this case, with Sandy Barbour leaving, Dykes is now less secure than he was last week. And it's notable that we rated him as the least secure Pac-12 coach even before this news.

The question now turns to the sort of AD Cal has in mind to replace Barbour. There are plenty of athletic director types out there. Some move deliberately. Some are more impulsive. I've been told by more than a few savvy ADs that it's important to hire your own football coach because you would rather be judged by what you have done than what your predecessor did.

Check back at CGB in the coming days when your esteemed writers give our opinions on Dykes's future, which are basically 20 times as reputable as Uncle Ted's.


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