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Burl Toler III hits recruiting trail; could a Cal football great get promoted?

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Cal might turn to a familiar face for the season

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Although there has been no official announcement about who will replace Pierre Ingram on the Cal coaching staff (or how duties will be shuffled with whoever takes his place), it's been confirmed by Mike Vernon of the Chronicle that Burl Toler III will now be freed to take on more recruiting responsibilities, since the Bears are currently short a recruiting staff member.

If this follows the same course as Jacob Peeler, it could be the next step that leads to promotion for Toler. Peeler was recently sent on the recruiting trail after the departure of Rob Likens and Zach Yenser to Kansas, and then received a promotion to inside receivers coach. Toler might be following a similar trek, or he could just be filling in on recruiting duties until Cal finds a permanent replacement. It's unclear which road the Bears will take.

Most of us remember Toler from his days as a wide receiver with Cal football, breaking out in 2003 as one of Aaron Rodgers's favorite targets. Toler caught 48 passes in 2003, but struggled with injuries in 2004. Toler joined Sonny Dykes's original staff in 2013 as a special teams quality control coordinator and has stayed on in that capacity the past two seasons.

More from Cal Rivals on what Toler's duties have been past two years.


"I talked to Coach (Sonny) Dykes a couple times and there was a position where he wanted me to come in and have an immediate impact: help relate to the kids and also be one of the few that are from the bay area and also went to Cal...I couldn't ask for anything more."

Per NCAA guidelines, Toler's position can't include any actual coaching, but that doesn't mean he's not able to help the Bears win ball games.

"My role is really to work hand in hand with Coach Tommerdahl, help organize scout team, breaking down film, being in the meetings. Right now, it's just learning, a lot of learning."

The Toler family has had a rich tradition at Cal. Toler's dad played at Cal, and Burl Toler Sr. broke barriers in the Bay Area. (HT to Auricursine).

And I bet both of them got that from Grandpa, Burl Toler Sr.

Member of the famous 1951 USF Dons team that went undefeated and received an Orange Bowl bid, only to have the team turn it down because USF would have had to have left both Toler and the other African-American team member, Ollie Matson, at home…

(Toler is 2nd from the left…)

Then, when injuries ended his playing career, Burl Toler became the First African-American official in NFL history:

The youngest Toler is certainly football—and Bay Area—royalty.

What does everyone think?