In likely his last media appearance before National Signing Day, Sonny Dykes confirmed that the Cal coaching staff will mostly stay intact for the 2016 season and there will be no noticeable staff changes. Another program could come calling for Cal assistants, but Dykes himself will not be the one to make any shifts internally.
Currently, here is how the assistant staff looks.
- Sonny Dykes: Head coach, outside receivers coach
- Tony Franklin: Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, running backs coach
- Brandon Jones: Run game coordinator, offensive line
- Mark Tommerdahl: Assistant head coach, special teams coordinator
- Jacob Peeler: Inside receivers
- Art Kaufman: Defensive coordinator
- Garret Chachere: Associate coach, linebackers
- Fred Tate: Defensive line
- John Lovett: Cornerbacks
- Greg Burns: Safeties
CGB debated how Cal should divvy up assistant salaries after Dykes's contract was extended. Here are some ideas about how the staff could be adjusted internally.
boomtho: The raise to the assistant's pool also seems pretty reasonable (I'd guessed $600K though I underestimated the value of Sonny's new deal) as well. I can't say I'm too well versed in how our assistant coaches have performed, but based on my cursory understanding, it seems like Kaufman, Burns, Lovett could be due raises. I'd keep Franklin and Peeler where they are, and I'd consider moving on from Jones and Tommerdahl (or, at the very least, not giving them a raise).
atomsareenough: I tweeted about this a while back, but this is probably what I'd do: 1) Give Peeler all the receivers - he did a pretty good job with the inside receivers, whereas with Dykes having to be head coach AND coach the outside receivers, it seems that the outside receivers didn't reach their full potential this year. Giving Peeler all the receivers would also be a good excuse to promote our best recruiter and an up-and-coming young coach that we'd like to keep.
2) Look into hiring a running backs coach. This one I could go either way on; Tre Watson really came on late in the year, Enwere had some fantastic runs early on, Muhammad was good when he was healthy. I think Franklin knows what he's doing and is less likely than Dykes to be spread too thin, and I get the rationale for wanting an extra coach on defense. But I'd at look around for a running backs coach, and perhaps pull the trigger if there's a good one available. That means getting rid of the extra DB coach, though.
3) Look into an upgrade at either DL or DB coach. I so just wish we'd just hired Akina in the first place rather than needing two DB coaches. SMH. Anyway, I don't think Chachere is going anywhere, but I'd look to hire a new coach (and hopefully one who is a great recruiter) either at DL or DB, if one is available.
A.W Johnston: Well the Tony Franklin news makes me want to throw the bank at him to keep him around. I don't think the Bear Raid exists without TFS. Let's bring on a running backs coach and a wide receivers coach and give a raise to the coaches making big impacts. Greg Burns, Jacob Peeler and many others deserve to be rewarded for bringing in high character players.
Leland Wong: It seems like we're all in agreement that we need more dedicated offensive assistants rather than just piling the duties onto to offensive coordinator/quarterback coach/running backs coach/chicken spaghetti chef Tony Franklin and head coach/outside receivers coach/does your hat make you look fat coach Sonny Dykes, but the big question is how we shuffle the rest of the staff to make room for them. As much as I love the defensive turnaround, I'd have to pick someone from that side of the ball. Boomtho wanted to give raises to Coaches Burns and Lovett, who split the secondary, but one of my candidates would be to remove one of them, just to attempt to consolidate somewhat similar positions. Another possibility would be to entrust additional duties with DC Art Kaufman; since the bulk of his positional experience has been with linebackers, that would mean having to cut Coach Chachere.
Alternatively, rather than having the super-busy Franklin and Dykes doing position coaching, we could also return inside receiver duties to the super-popular special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl. This option is a little more controversial at CGB because everyone has been talking about no salary bumps for him. Well, let's be honest, cries of "FIRE TOMMERDAHL!" are much more common than "No raises for Tommerdahl!" Nonetheless, I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit. While I acknowledge the routine roles of special teams--covering and returning kicks and punts and getting good distance on kick-offs--have been severely lacking, I do enjoy the turnover madness that our special teams have wreaked. Blocked extra points? Blocked punts turned into fumbles turned into touchdowns? I feel like one of these days we'll crack the mystery to the basic special teams responsibilities and suddenly WE'LL HAVE BRILLIANT SPECIAL TEAMS.
It's not fun to have to pick people to lose their jobs, so let me give a big round of applause to Avi for forcing me to do this.