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LISTEN: Sonny Dykes on the Leigh Steinberg Show

Listen to the head coach!

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Sonny Dykes conducted a nice interview on the Leigh Steinberg (famous super agent and Cal alum) Show yesterday. For your listening pleasure, you can Sonny Dykes interview with Leigh Steinberg . I transcribed a bit of it below (HT rathokan at Bear Insider).

Some of this is slightly paraphrased.

Dykes on taking the Cal job

"One of the things that drew me to Cal was the opportunity to live in the Bay Area...to live in a different part of the world ... my wife and family and I, we love it. We love waking up everyday and it's gonna be a great adventure. That was one of the big things that drew me to Cal was taking in all the things that Cal and Berkeley have to offer."

Dykes on coaching.

"My dad [Spike] was a long-time high school coach and college coach. He coached for about 40 years, 25 in college and 15 in high school. He was the head coach at Texas Tech for 13 seasons. I grew up around the game. It's funny, I'm like everybody else.

When I graduated college, I thought I wanted to go to law school, maybe be a sports agent. Something crazy like that. Then I started thinking about life without Saturday afternoons, what it was gonna be like without college football. It drew me in. Just the thought of not being able to go out there and be part of a team, trying to share a goal ... those kind of things have always meant a lot to me.

That's what drew me to coaching, that's kind of how I got my foot in the door. Started out as a high school coach, worked my way up, did the GA (graduate assistant) thing, worked my way to Cal."

Dykes on arriving and discovering that it was a rebuilding project

"To an extent, I knew what I was getting into. I knew that they had some issues from a recruiting standpoint. Just the numbers of players that were left in the program of upperclassmen ... I knew that they had lots of players that had moved on and guys that weren't part of the program anymore. I knew coming here it was going to be tough.

We started a freshman quarterback, we made a conscious decision to do that. So when you have a really young team that doesn't have a lot of older players, doesn't have a lot of leadership, you throw in a young quarterback
who played the second toughest schedule in the country, and then you have the kind of injuries you have last year, it's not a good recipe.

Our players ... you have to credit through them. They fought through it, they really persevered. The guys that stayed in our program ... really have a tremendous mentality. They've worked incredibly hard. Anytime you go through the hardships they went through, it galvanizes the group. You could see last spring, the level of buy-in was exactly what we needed, because the players really wanted to compete and really wanted to work hard and really wanted to be successful. When you mix in some of the talent, then all of a sudden you have the chance to become a good football team.

We're still a really young team. We still don't have a lot of older leadership in our program but our guys work incredibly hard and so they're just gonna keep working and I'm really excited about the future of the program."

Dykes on Tony Franklin

"He's got a real unique way of teaching things. We're kind of a hybrid offense, it's a lot of the old Air Raid stuff that I think we all learned from Hal Mumme back at Kentucky. Tony and I were together at Kentucky in the late 90s.

What Tony did was take that offense - just like I did when i became an offensive coordinator - and put his own spin on it. And so when I became a head coach, I really didn't want to have to run the offense. And I wanted to hire like I think, and Tony was an easy selection for me. We think similar, we have the same backgrounds.

The thing Tony did that I was not doing at the time, was playing fast. Tony was playing the up-tempo offense, getting the ball snapped quickly and incorporating the quarterback run game, doing some things that I hadn't done in the past. We felt like that really put us in the cutting edge of college football. Five years ago not many teams were going fast. Now it seems like everybody is. It made us pretty unique. Kind of gave us to get the ball rolling at Louisiana Tech."

This is about half of the interview. Check out the rest for more on Daniel Lasco, Jared Goff, Luke Rubenzer, the defense, on how to beat the Trojans. Also skip through the commercials and skip through the end to find out how super-agent and Cal alum Steinberg got into his position because of Cal football and UC Berkeley in general!