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Bear Raid Is On: Tony Franklin Joins Sonny Dykes As Cal Offensive Coordinator

The Bear Raid is on. Cal is reportedly hiring Louisiana Tech offensive coordinator Tony Franklin to join Sonny Dykes.

Tony Franklin - Offensive Coordinator  Louisiana Tech vs Houston in Saturday night action 9/17/2011 Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, LA
Tony Franklin - Offensive Coordinator Louisiana Tech vs Houston in Saturday night action 9/17/2011 Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, LA
Donny Crowe

Sonny Dykes made it clear that there would be several coaching hires made this weekend. The first and most important was bringing along offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, and that appears to be happening. Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports reports the final details are being ironed out, but Franklin should be on his way to Cal by the end of the weekend.

Franklin has been the offensive coordinator in several spots and was one of the major practicioners of the original Airraid under Hal Mumme in Kentucky. He coached running backs in Kentucky for three years before taking over as OC in 2000, making the Wildcats one of the best passing offenses in the country. However, after outing the corruption in the Kentucky football program, he spent a half-decade out of college football.

However, he saw that obstacle as an opportunity to sell coaches on the merits of the offense, and he brought himself back from the dark by selling his unique brand of offense to the masses. Franklin is most well known to football coaches for his Tony Franklin System, which has become a very popular high school and college offensive system in terms of providing Airraid to the masses.

Eventually, the popularity of the system circulated through the coaching world, and Franklin got another shot. He ended up at Troy as OC in 2006, where in two years his Troy offense were amoung the best in the nation (particularly 2007) and won two straight Sun Belt titles.

Franklin is probably most famous to common college football fans for his struggles in Auburn. Despite hiring him to implement his particular scheme on offense and Franklin having great success in the bowl game he was hired to coordinate on short notice, things went south in a hurry. Head coach Tommy Tuberville refused to turn over the reins of the offense to him, stifling the Airraid and seeming to set themselves on a power run attack that eventually clamped down. Auburn eventually fired him after the team struggled to do anything offensively, although much of that appeared to be the coaching staff not having trust in his system and wanting to go their own way. The rest of the Auburn coaching staff would soon join Franklin in unemployment, as Auburn finished 5-7 and Tuberville was fired at the end of that season.

A one year stint in Middle Tennessee State saw him change up yet another program and turn another losing team into a winning one, and eventually Dykes found him and hired him to run Louisiana Tech's offense. Both he and Dykes merged their concepts of the Airraid together over the last three seasons, and the two together implemented one of the most exciting and productive total offenses in college football history.

If Dykes was to come to Cal, Franklin was definitely going to have to join him. The two have made beautiful music together with the Bulldogs, and they can hopefully do the same with the Bears.

Welcome to Cal Tony! Go Bears!