|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MEDIA CONFERENCE
December 6, 2012
THE MODERATOR:¬† Good afternoon, everybody.¬† I'd like to welcome everyone to The Field Club here at Memorial Stadium for the introduction of our new head football coach at the University of California.
First I want to introduce everybody here on the podium.¬† To my immediate left is vice chancellor John Wilton.¬† Next to him is Sonny Dykes, our new head football coach.¬† On the very end is our athletic director Sandy Barbour.
We'll start this off with having opening comments by each of the three people here and then we'll entertain questions.
We'll start off with Vice Chancellor Wilton.
JOHN WILTON:¬† I'll be quick because I want to get to the main attraction.
I couldn't be more thrilled and happy to kick this press conference off and welcome our new football coach, Sonny Dykes.¬† I wanted to say that both myself and the chancellor were directly involved in the selection process, in advising Sandy, in making this choice.
We were really privileged to have an absolutely wonderful roster of potential candidates.¬† We were lucky to be able to get our first choice in that pool of candidates.
We couldn't be more thrilled than we are today in welcoming Sonny to our new facilities here at Berkeley.¬† I just wanted to give my full endorsement for the choice that we've made.¬† I'm really excited about the future for us here at Berkeley.
With that I'm going to hand it over to Sandy.¬† Thank you very much.
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† Thank you, John.
I appreciate you and Chancellor Birgeneau's participation and support in this process.¬† Most importantly we all in intercollegiate athletics appreciate your continued and steadfast belief that intercollegiate athletics at Berkeley is a powerful and valuable part of our campus and in particular Cal football serves as an important part of the connective tissue that binds us together.
Before I speak directly to the announcement, and my introduction of Coach Dykes today, I have a number of thank yous.¬† I want to go back to the beginning for a moment because it's so important in how we got to where we are today.
I want to thank the incredible young men in our football program.¬† They've rallied in the last 16 days.¬† Yes, I know exactly how many days it's been.¬† 16 days and two hours to be exact.¬† They've pulled together and committed to protect and honor Cal football.¬† They've gone about their business of finishing the semester strong academically, getting healthy from a long physical season, and preparing their bodies and minds in the weight room for an exciting and demanding season ahead in an incredibly mature and professional manner, befitting of the world-class institution they represent.
Gentlemen, the prospect of coaching you, mentoring you, holding you collectively and individually to a high standard in every aspect of your lives, helping you to reach your absolute full potential in his 'win everywhere' mentality is ultimately what brought Coach Dykes to Berkeley today.¬† Thank you for your commitment, your patience and your faith in your university.
I want to thank our football staff.¬† Only those on the inside can imagine and understand the details of this transition.¬† You've been incredibly professional and you've done it with great love and passion for this university.¬† It's been done by our remaining coaches and support staff.¬† These men and women in that group are truly professionals and we appreciate your efforts in providing a steady hand to the young men in this program during a time of uncertainty for both you and them.
Lastly I want to thank my staff and those on campus who assisted us with this search.¬† Because of how I believe you must run a high‑profile search with insistence on total confidentiality ‑ good luck with that, right? ‑ they were asked to perform many of the necessary logistics and other requirements of this research while operating completely in the dark.
I know that that makes doing your jobs difficult and is never a comfortable thing.¬† But I know that all of the candidates and their current institutions or organizations appreciate the professional manner with which this search was conducted, and that only happens when one, maybe two, people know the full picture.
We have the best leadership team and support staff in America and they've showed us once again why I feel that way and why they've earned those feelings.¬† Thank you.
I want to go back to the beginning because today's announcement is the result of a process, one informed by a careful examination of our history, traditions, culture, mission, vision and core values, an examination of our true being.
The journey started for me on November 21st when I began formulating, and a few days later, began extending invitations to a variety of stakeholders in our community.
I asked them to serve on what I called our Football Head Coach Search Advisory Committee.¬† This was not an interview committee.¬† This was not a candidate vetting group.¬† Quite to the contrary, not one candidate name was uttered in our several hours together.
But what did happen in that meeting was magical for me.¬† I emerged from that meeting, which consisted of several student‑athletes, faculty leadership, alumni, trustees, some of our most accomplished head coaches, IA support staff, and representatives from the California Alumni Association.¬† It was incredibly motivating for me to find the right fit for Cal.
What happened in that conference room was a complete convergence on a unique profile for a college football coach who would ensure success in its broadest sense for the young men in our football program and who would execute an important leadership role for our university and the broader community.
From the 20‑year‑old in the room to the tenured professor to the CEO, there was complete agreement on the personal characteristics, values and professional experiences necessary to lead our football program.
I was incredibly inspired by that process and the subsequent conversations that I had with individual committee members throughout my travels and the interviews.
Several traits of priority importance came out of that gathering.¬† Again, this is a unique and wonderful campus.¬† Therefore, it's a unique head football coaching job.¬† The dominant phrases were:¬† pride in who and what we are, pride in everything we do, and to steal a phrase from my good friend Dean Rich Lyons and the faculty of Haas, confidence without attitude, confidence in who we are, who and what we represent, and unapologetically in who we are.
We emerged with a definitive priority on resilience, persistence and determination, traits we obviously strive to instill in our student‑athletes, and therefore we most possess ourselves.¬† A commitment to creating a culture and environment in our football program that leads to young men who graduate and leave the university feeling enthusiastic and connected to their total Berkeley experience.
We define success in its broadest sense on and off the field, on the campus, in the community, and as national leaders in all that we do.
To steal another phrase from one of our incredible student‑athlete alumni, Rick Cronk, co‑founder of Dreyer's Ice Cream, we are world-class.¬† That's who we are.¬† That's what we are.¬† No apologies.
So I thank each of you who served as an advisor in this ever‑important search.¬† Not only did you provide incredible direction, you provided clarity of voice.¬† Each time I engaged a candidate in this process I felt like the 18 of you were there with me and by extension our entire community.¬† It was the epitome of team.
Let me make a final comment about pride.¬† At Cal we take tremendous pride in doing things the right way, with integrity and within the rules both stated and intended.¬† We are receiving great compliments nationally for how we ran this search.¬† Candidates' confidentiality was preserved and permission was sought from ADs before contacting coaches.¬† We did it the right way.¬† It's just how we do things at Cal.¬† We take tremendous care and pride in doing it that way.
So why are we here?¬† You've read all the statistics.¬† You know the win/loss record.¬† You know he has led prolific offenses everywhere he's been.¬† You know he's been Coach of the Year, Recruiter of the Year, Assistant Coach of the Year.¬† You know he comes from a coaching family, comes from a state rich to athletic talent and tradition ‑ almost as rich as the state of California.¬† But until you meet the man and you spend time with him and you probe his values and his hopes and his dreams, you don't know the man.¬† You don't know what an incredible fit he is to lead the young men in this program, today's young men and those who will join us tomorrow and in the future.
His 'win everywhere' mentality really encompasses his vision for Cal football, but I'll let him share that with you.
You don't know him until you talk to his former players, ADs he's worked with and for, his coaching colleagues, and opposing coaches, all of which we have.¬† You don't get the full flavor of this man, this leader, this coach.¬† He is what we drew up in the conference room on November 26th, even though at the time we all agreed that Superman already had a job.
He is committed to student‑athletes and their success in all facets of their lives, what their lives can be and will become.¬† He embraces and has sought out the challenges of an academically rigorous institution and all that comes with it.¬† He had several opportunities to skirt that challenge, but he persisted in his pursuit of the Cal job with all the determination and resilience that I know he will apply to his leadership role with Cal football.
It's my distinct pleasure to welcome Sonny and Kate Dykes and their daughters Ally and Charlie to the Cal family.¬† I know the entire community joins me in welcoming you, and convey how tremendously excited we are now that you are California Golden Bears.
Without further delay, the head coach of the University of California, Sonny Dykes.
COACH DYKES:¬† That was quite an introduction by Sandy.¬† Thank you very much.¬† I appreciate that.
I just want to start by saying, first of all, I can't really begin to say how special it is to be standing here today as the head coach at Cal.¬† I'm truly blown away.¬† I've been in this profession a long time.¬† I've seen a lot of these jobs that have come open, things have happened.¬† There were a lot of great jobs open this year, and this is the one that I was interested in from day one because of the great traditions at Cal, the great challenges that Cal has, but the great resources that Cal has as well.
To interview for this job and to ultimately be here standing in front of you today is an incredible privilege.¬† Things just don't work out that way very often and I feel truly blessed to be here because this is a very special institution and I'm very blessed to be a part of it.
Before I get started, I want to thank a couple of people.¬† First of all, I want to thank Kate in the back there, my beautiful wife, and our two lovely daughters Ally and Charlie for being along with me, allowing me to do what I want to do.¬† Being a football coach sometimes is a very interesting job, and Kate has been the absolute perfect football coach's wife.¬† I'm very grateful to her for everything she's done.
I'm very excited about the future, them growing up as California Bears.¬† I think we're going to have a lovely future together.
I want to say thank you to Sandy Barbour for entrusting me with the keys to this incredible program.¬† She's a big part of the reason why I'm standing before you today.
I met with Sandy and really felt like I connected with her and she shared a vision with me for what Cal athletics was all about.¬† I really, really felt that connection with her.¬† I think we have an incredible amount of shared values and vision.¬† Very, very excited about that.
Thank you to Chancellor Birgeneau for your confidence and insight as I join the family.
Thank you to John Wilton, who I had an opportunity to meet with.
I look forward to your leadership and guidance.¬† I also look forward to working with incoming chancellor Nicholas Dirks.¬† I've heard great things about him as well and look forward to the future with him.
I also want to thank Dr. Dan Reneau, Bruce Van De Velde, the entire Louisiana Tech family for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach there.¬† It's a class institution and it was a great place for me to spend three years of my life and raise my family.
I especially want to thank our players for the sacrifices they made on and off the field.¬† I loved working with them every day.¬† We had a special group of players.¬† I'll continue to cheer for them and everything they do in the future.
I take fond memories from my time in Ruston and wish the Bulldogs the very best in the future.
I was fortunate to grow up in a football family.¬† My father was a football coach for a long time, 20 years as a high school coach and 20 years as a college coach.¬† I wouldn't be the man I am today if it wasn't for the influence on me and my mother's influence on me.¬† I want to thank my dad for everything he's taught me.¬† I was so fortunate to grow up with the two wonderful parents that I did.¬† I think they've had the biggest influence on my life.
When this all happened, I was focused on California from day one.¬† Here is why.¬† Cal I think has a commitment to excellence, a mentality to win every single day in every single way, a dedication to excellence in everything that Cal touches.¬† That's how you graduate players, shape young men and win football games.¬† I think the dedication manifests itself in athletics, 84 national championships in 15 different sports, academics, the number one public institution in the country.¬† The faculty, their accomplishments are quite remarkable.¬† The facilities, as you can see around here, blow you away.
Memorial Stadium is now one of the best facilities to play college football in in the entire country.¬† I'm excited about having such great resources to recruit to.
This is a proud program with a rich tradition.¬† We will set lofty goals for our program, but our primary focus will be on improving every day in all phases as we ensure to build a total program.
From a personal standpoint, Coach Tedford and his staff laid a strong foundation that we will build on.¬† I met with the team today.¬† They had a great look about them.¬† I had a fabulous visit with them and I'm excited about our future together.
Our football team has some challenges that lay in front of us.¬† Academically we have to improve, we know that.¬† I believe there's a direct correlation between having academic and athletic success.¬† Those goals and expectations will be laid out from the very beginning and were laid out today in our meeting.
It's our purpose to get the academic part of this program fixed.¬† We will turn it around and return this team to the highest levels of expectation on the field and in the classroom.¬† With the Simpson Center, the afforded opportunity to our students, success is there for the taking.¬† We will ensure they see it and achieve it.¬† This is what Cal demands and what I will demand on a daily basis from our student‑athletes.
It's no secret that signing day is right around the corner.¬† We've already hit the ground running.¬† We have to roll our sleeves up and go to work.¬† We'll be very aggressive in retaining and continuing to find student‑athletes that fit Cal.¬† I'm a big believer in fit.¬† I think that's what leads to success.¬† Certain people fit certain places, and our duty is to go out there and find the best student‑athletes that fit the culture of Cal that can succeed both in the classroom and on the football field.
We will work with some great coaches on staff and with several coaches I will bring in immediately to close this year's recruiting class.¬† We'll address all the staff issues really in the next 10 to 14 days and hopefully have a complete staff as we break for Christmas.
As far as the existing staff, I will meet with every one of them and they will be given an opportunity to interview and be a part of this staff as well.¬† Those decisions we will make over the course of the next 10 to 14 days.
What's exciting is our brand of football is fun.¬† I think that's what's going to be exciting for the football fans out there.¬† I think offensively we're going to put the ball in the air.¬† We're going to play at a fast pace, be able to move the football and score points, something we've been able to do at many academic institutions across the country, many different football teams.
Defensively I think that will be the biggest, most important hire that I make, hiring a defensive coordinator that can come in and get to work from day one and get a defense established.
In the Pac-12, you've got to be able to play versatile defense, you have to be able to adjust.¬† One week you may play Stanford, one week you may play Oregon.¬† Two completely different teams philosophically.¬† You have to be prepared to play against both styles of football.
We've always had an emphasis on special teams which will be an integral part of our success.¬† We put our best players on special teams.¬† We expect them to go out there and play on teams and contribute to special teams.¬† Again, I think that's led to our past successes and will lead to our future successes.
I can't tell you how excited I am to be here today to represent Cal.¬† I am so thankful for this opportunity to be here and represent everything this university stands for.
Again, a chance to be a part of Cal, the number one public institution in the United States, a chance to be a part of the Pac‑12, which I think is one of the finest college conferences in the United States, and a chance to work in this facility day in and day out and recruit the caliber of young men that we can recruit at Cal is a dream come true for me.
So thank you.¬† I'm so excited to be here.¬† I can't wait to get started.¬† I look forward to embracing the Cal culture and getting this football program headed in the right direction.¬† Thanks again for your time and I'm so honored and appreciative to be here.¬† Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll open it up for questions.
Q.¬† Sandy, can you talk about the terms of the contract, the length, the dollar amount, and also what you will be able to do for Sonny's assistant coaching staff financially.
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† The first one is we have a term sheet that we have come to an agreement on.¬† We are working on the contract itself which will then ultimately need approval so it will be made public at that time.
Sonny and I are committed to working together to provide the resources that are necessary to bring the very best college football staff to Berkeley.
Q.¬† Sonny, looking at your r√©sum√© with the high‑scoring offense, that will be an entertaining show.¬† The flipside, looking at your defense this last season at Louisiana Tech, it was at or near the bottom of the standings.¬† Does it follow that if you have this kind of offense, is the defense just by course going to give up a lot of points or can something be done to have a better defense, especially here?
COACH DYKES:¬† No, I think so.¬† We did have a bit of an anomaly this year.¬† We were number one in the country in offense and last in defense, which is something that's a little bit unusual.¬† Obviously it's something we know we need to get addressed.
The thing that I think I can refer to is our season year before last, we led the Western Athletic Conference in total defense, number one defense in the conference that year.¬† What we try to do as coaches, I believe your number one job as a coach is to figure out what you have, what's the personality of your football team, what are your strengths.¬† That particular year we were starting a true freshman quarterback, had a lot of good young defensive players.
Our focus that year was let's play great defense, protect the football on offense, let's make sure we punt well.¬† We didn't turn the ball over and we won a conference championship.¬† We graduated a lot of those players.¬† We had a lot of offensive players return the following year and knew we were going to have to have a dominant offense because we were going to be young defensively.¬† We figured out a way to win.¬† What we had to do was outscore people that year.¬† Certainly not something we want to make a living doing.¬† We want to play great defenses day in and day out.¬† If you can be a great defensive football team, that's going to give you an opportunity to win every ballgame.
My number one job is going to be to go out and hire the best defensive coordinator I can find in the United States.¬† I have four or five names right now that I plan to interview.¬† Go get the best one, bring him here and combine great defense with great offense and great special teams and try to go win a championship.
Q.¬† Sonny, what have the last 24 hours been like for you and from a travel standpoint?
COACH DYKES:¬† Where am I (laughter)?
It's been good.¬† That's the nature of the way these things go.¬† It's funny, you know, things happen and then they sometimes stall and all of a sudden it goes fast.
The last 48 hours has been incredibly interesting.¬† The excitement about the possibility of this job working out I think kept me up late at night, just considering the possibilities because I have so much enthusiasm for this place.¬† Coaching against Cal when I was at Arizona, coming to Berkeley to play, just seeing what this place was all about, getting a taste for it, made me so excited to have an opportunity to be involved in this job.
Then as things started to wind down, that anticipation grew.¬† It's tough.¬† You're waiting to get everything done.¬† But it's a great process.
I had a chance to meet with John and Sandy in New York, then went back to Ruston and here I am this morning.¬† So it's been a whirlwind, but we'll look back on it and say it was the best 48 hours of my life.
Q.¬† When did you meet in New York?
COACH DYKES:¬† What is today (laughter)?
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† If you could get us to know what day is what, we could tell you.
We met on Monday.
COACH DYKES:¬† Either Monday or Tuesday.
Q.¬† You mentioned that you believe in a correlation between academics and athletics.¬† How do you plan on addressing the academic issues on the team and what you see as the root of those issues?
COACH DYKES:¬† Well, that was what we talked about in our team meeting today.¬† It was the theme of that meeting more than anything else.¬† Our job every single day as coaches is to get our players to do their best in any endeavor they choose to be a part of.
So what we have to do from day one is instill expectations.¬† We're going to expect our players to attend every class, to attend every study hall session, every tutoring session, not only attend them but do their best when they're in those sessions.
I think we have to build an overall team that understands what opportunity they have being here, how fortunate they are to be part of this university, and the opportunities afforded to them.¬† I think that we're all so fortunate to be here.¬† It's like I told our players today, You're at the number one public institution in the country, number one community to live in, beautiful resources.¬† How could you not wake up every morning excited and go out and do your best.¬† That's the challenge to our players, raise our level of expectations, get them to buy in and continue to work hard every day because we're going to expect the best they have.
Q.¬† As you evaluated the football program before hiring Sonny, did you come to a conclusion that discipline maybe on the field and in the classroom was lacking?
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† If you're going to have a good team in anything, whether it's your college team or pro team, you have to have players who are held accountable and who are disciplined (interruption in audio).
Q.¬† Sonny, talk about the challenges you're going to face coming into the recruiting.
COACH DYKES:¬† This is not a bad time to come in.¬† Anytime you have a coaching search, you get a bit of a late start.¬† To Cal's credit, this happened very quickly.¬† It's given us time to get in here and get some work done in the recruiting front this week and all of next week we'll have an opportunity to get out and see both current commits and prospective student‑athletes.¬† I think it was done in a very timely manner.
When you do make a change, you are behind a little bit.¬† So we're going to be reaching out to our current commits.¬† That's our number one goal, to retain those commitments, continue to build the relationships with the players.¬† We need to get to know them and they need to get to know us.
Like anything, we'll evaluate the fit.¬† That's kind of what we're going through.
But I think Cal sells itself.¬† I think when we assemble our coaching staff, our coaching staff will sell itself.¬† I think we'll have an opportunity to sign one of the better recruiting classes they've had around here.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
COACH DYKES:¬† I'm talking about next week being a contact period, next week.
Q.¬† Can you talk a little bit more about the coaches who have influenced you.
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a coaching family.¬† I think my father was the biggest influence on me, not really even from a football standpoint but just on a relationship standpoint, how to deal with people, the value of building bridges.¬† Bringing people together I think was one of his strengths.¬† I think he could relate to players and young men, be someone that they trusted.¬† I think those are all characteristics that I've tried to emulate through the years.
Then from a coaching standpoint, I was fortunate enough to get hooked up with Hal Mumme at a young age.¬† Kind of ahead of the curve in terms of what he was doing offensively in college football, had some success at the University of Kentucky, a tough league, a program that hadn't had a lot of success through the years.¬† So I was fortunate enough to go there and then go with Mike Leach to Texas Tech.¬† I thought Mike did an outstanding job.¬† We scored a lot of points.¬† We moved the football.¬† Then kind of went off on my own, went to the University of Arizona, tried to do it with a little different style and personnel.
I was really blessed to work with contrasting styles, contrasting personalities.¬† I think they all prepared me for this position that I'm in today.
Q.¬† When you were in Kentucky, you were in charge of special teams and calling fake punts.
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah.¬† Are you from Kentucky?¬† How do you know about this (laughter)?
Yeah, you know, what I value most about Hal and Mike is they are out‑of‑the‑box thinkers.¬† What we did at Kentucky we took a little different approach at special teams.¬† He put me in charge of units.¬† We're going to have a punt team, but it's offensive players only.¬† It's usually defensive players.¬† We had to formulate how to do it with five offensive linemen, have other guys cover.¬† The fakes kind of came as a result of that.
I think we ran one year I was there 11 fake punts, nine of them successfully.¬† I think we ran three in one game against Florida and got all three of them.¬† So Steve Spurrier was not real happy about that.
Q.¬† Sandy, how many people did you interview?¬† At what point was the moment that you realized that Sonny was your guy?
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† I met with Sonny early on in the process.¬† I will tell you ‑ and I haven't told him yet ‑ when he walked out of the room, I said to myself, I think that's the guy.¬† We were fortunate to have great interest in this position, and I felt like in doing my duty to the university I needed to do a full vetting of what was available.
We did meet with a relatively large number of folks.¬† But I kept coming back to Sonny.¬† I kept coming back to Sonny.
Q.¬† When you say 'relatively large,' a dozen, half dozen?
SANDY BARBOUR:¬† Somewhere in there (laughter).¬† Between those two numbers, yeah.
Q.¬† Coach, didn't use tight ends much the last few years.¬† Cal has a lot of them.¬† Is that something you're going to adapt to?
COACH DYKES:¬† The thing I like most about what we do offensively is we figure out who the best players are.¬† So what we'll do every day, and I talked to the team a little bit about this, we go in and rank our players by position every day.¬† We're constantly trying to make sure we're going to have our five best offensive linemen playing at the same time.¬† If you have three centers who are your very best guys, we're going to move some guys around, get our best five on the field.
It's the same thing at the tight end, running back, fullback, wide receiver positions.¬† We're going to figure out who is the best five, who is the best eight, who is the best 10, who is the best 12, then try to put those guys in positions to be successful.
If we have tight ends that we feel are our best players, we're going to play with them.¬† That was my challenge at Arizona.¬† My first year there we recruited a pretty decent player named Robby Gronkowski.¬† Ended up being a decent player.¬† He played tight end for us.¬† I wasn't somebody that had a background in tight ends.¬† Robby happened to be one of our better players and we carved out a role for him.
That's what our offense is all about, is finding players, finding out what they can and can't do, ask them to do the things that they can do, and not doing the things they're not capable of doing.
If that means playing with seven linemen, we'll play with seven linemen.¬† You saw us at times this year line up with three running backs, five wide receivers and no running backs, played with two offensive tackles as tight ends.¬† We'll find out who the best guys are and put them in those situations.
Q.¬† What progress, if any, has been made on negotiating Jeff's buyout package?
JOHN WILTON:¬† Actually we're still in the process of working out the details with him so we can't really talk about it.¬† Sorry.
Q.¬† Sonny, for those of us who don't see your team play often but hear about it, it's a spread offense but not strictly a spread option.¬† Doesn't look like your quarterback runs an awful lot.¬† What type of guy do you need to play that position?
COACH DYKES:¬† It kind of goes a little bit back to what we just talked about.¬† Honestly, if we have a quarterback that can run, we're going to run him.¬† All those possibilities exist within the offense.
I think in a perfect world, we would have a running back that's mobile and could carry the ball 8 to 10 times a game, if it was a perfect world.¬† We haven't had that at Louisiana Tech.¬† Our guys have been more pocket guys.¬† That's kind of the style of play we've adjusted to.
But we're a different team.¬† We're not a true spread option team.¬† It's not going to be Oregon spread, it's not going to be Texas Tech spread.¬† We run the football a lot.¬† I think we ended up in the top 15 in the country in rushing and in the top 10 in passing.¬† It's a diverse offense that can throw the ball, run the ball, creates matchups.¬† We're real big into running the ball and throwing the ball into good numbers, identifying those things and doing that by personnel and by formations.
A lot of our offense has different calls in it, double calls, pass versus this, run versus this.¬† It's really a simple offense that is really highly predicated upon doing things that the defense has given you.
Q.¬† Pocket quarterback?
COACH DYKES:¬† A pocket quarterback can certainly play and so can a mobile quarterback.
Q.¬† Do you plan on keeping any of the existing position coaches or what are you going to do in regards to personnel?
COACH DYKES:¬† The first thing we'll do is meet with those guys individually.¬† I have some ideas what I want to do with my staffing.¬† Nothing is set in stone at this point.¬† But I'm going to meet with them.¬† There's obviously great coaches here at Cal.¬† I've coached against them.¬† I have great respect for them.¬† I've gotten to know some of these guys through the years.¬† They're really outstanding football coaches and outstanding people.
So I think I would be remiss if I didn't meet with them and see what their vision for Cal is and what their vision for the future is, see how it fits.¬† As I said earlier, I'm a big believer in how things fit together.
The most important thing I'll do is hire a staff.¬† I really believe that.¬† These guys are around our young men day in and day out.¬† They're the ones that get to know them at the personal level, they're the ones that are coaching and guiding them, mentoring them.¬† You have to have strength not only in X's and O's but the other areas we talked about.¬† It's all about fit, personality.¬† I think putting a staff together is about young people, old people, optimistic people, pessimistic people.¬† I think you want to have a little bit of all those bases covered, old grouchy guys and young optimistic guys have an opportunity to work together.
Q.¬† What do you know about the players on this team?¬† Anything at all about their abilities?
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah, I've had an opportunity to delve into it a little bit.¬† Most of the quarterbacks I knew because we recruited those guys either at Arizona or Texas Tech.¬† They were all highly regarded players.¬† So I'm pretty familiar with most of them.
I know that there's some outstanding young receivers in the program.¬† I think, as was alluded to earlier, there's some tight ends that can do some things that are unique and will give our offense some diversity.
Then defensively I think we need to get bigger and more physical up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage.¬† That's an area we're going to have to address as we move forward in recruiting.¬† It's imperative with the physical play that happens in this league that you're big on both sides of the line.¬† I think recruiting always starts for us with offensive and defensive linemen.¬† I think it's where you build your program.¬† So it's going to be important for us to go out and recruit those types of players.
I've had a chance to look at it.¬† I think the thing that's most important is for me to get in there and look at the film, start looking at the tape, start seeing what guys can do because I think sometimes a change of style will benefit players and sometimes it will hurt other players.¬† How certain guys have performed in the past is certainly not an indication necessarily on how they're going to perform in the future.
Q.¬† Coach, this season marks the 75th anniversary since the last time Cal won the Rose Bowl.¬† I know you talked about how important it was this should be the goal for every Pac‑12 program.¬† What can you tell the long‑suffering alumni as far as what this would mean?
COACH DYKES:¬† That's obviously everybody's goal in this program, is to reach the Rose Bowl.¬† It means you won a conference championship.¬† That's why you coach and play, to be part of championship football teams.¬† There's nothing like it.¬† It's going to take a lot of work.
The thing we have to do is focus on the small tasks.¬† Building a winning football program is honestly a process.¬† It's day‑to‑day.¬† I'm a big believer in you have to complete step A before you can get to step B, before you can complete step B.¬† You have to continue to move forward every single day.
Our goal is going to be to improve every single day, to be accountable to each other every single day, to start to develop as a team, a team that's better collectively than we are individually.¬† I mean, that's my job.¬† That's what I do.¬† Day in and day out I'm constantly going to be getting input from our players, what can we do to provide better services to you to allow you to be more successful.¬† At the same time we're going to be laying out demands.
It's a process.¬† It's not going to happen overnight.¬† It's going to be a long, arduous process.¬† How many years is it going to take?¬† I don't know.¬† Is it going to be next year?¬† I don't know.¬† What's the future hold?¬† I can't answer that question.¬† But I do know that's what's going to drive us every day.¬† Every day we get in our car and come to work, our goal is going to be to get to the Rose Bowl, and not only get there but to win it.
Q.¬† You mentioned hitting the ground running recruiting, also hiring your staff within the next 10 to 14 days.¬† Obviously you can't do it all yourself.¬† Do you hope to have some online in the next couple of days to help you with that?
COACH DYKES:¬† Yes.¬† We could have as many as three or four possibly by Monday.¬† We'll have to see.¬† There's logistics involved in that.¬† It always happens a little slower than you want it to.¬† It's imperative that we get guys hired and get them out there as quickly as we can.
We have to go build relationships.¬† It all starts locally for us.¬† We have to get out into the high schools locally, in the Bay Area, in the surrounding areas, then we've obviously got to get the state of California covered.
Every successful football program in the country focuses on recruiting their area and their state.¬† That's going to be something that's paramount to our success here.¬† We're going to need to improve our recruiting and improve our relationships with high school coaches and be visible.
Q.¬† Sonny, on what you were just talking about, is it important, given that most of the assistant coaches you've had at Louisiana Tech, probably don't recruit the same regions that you'll recruit here, to have some carry‑over from the existing staff?
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah, you'd actually be surprised.¬† Some of the guys I plan on hiring have many, many years of experience recruiting in California.¬† The great thing about this state here is that everybody at some time or another, if you're in the coaching profession, has recruited California.¬† Most of these guys have done it extensively and over time.¬† There's existing relationships.
As I said earlier, recruiting is about relationships and establishing trust.¬† When they get to know our coaches, the kind of people they are, I think it's going to allow us to make inroads in recruiting.
Most of the guys I'll be hiring will have had experience in the state of California in recruiting.
THE MODERATOR:¬† I'd like to close this portion of the press conference.¬† Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports