The California athletics department made a surprising move on Sunday when it announced that head football coach Sonny Dykes would be fired.
The Golden Bears were 5-7 this season, 3-6 in the Pac-12.
Dykes brought national attention to the program last season with an 8-5 record, a bowl win, and the play of quarterback Jared Goff. Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, who reported the firing, has also tossed out 31-year-old Cal OC Jake Spavital and Wisconsin DC Justin Wilcox as potential Dykes replacements.
The news comes somewhat of a surprise given that the team has not played since their November 26 victory over UCLA, but Williams stated that Dykes' December interview for Baylor's head coaching position played a factor in the university's decision.
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The Bears ranked fourth nationally in passing offense and 10th in total offense, but were 125th in total defense and 127th in scoring defense. "But after looking at a number of factors after the end of this season, I felt that we needed a change of direction for the good of our student-athletes and our program". "This wasn't the result of what happened on the football field, we evaluated the program overall".
Dykes signed a contract extension last March which earned him $2.3 million this season and he was set to make $2.375 million in 2017, $2.45 million in 2018 and $2.525 million in 2019.
Fox noted that the search will begin immediately with the idea that a new coach could be in place by the end of the week as recruiting heats up. College football signing day is February 1.
He has more big ties to the Pac-12, having played linebacker at OR and serving as Cal's linebackers coach from 2003-05.