There were rumors. There had been some speculation. Whatever the case was before, it is now settled. Sonny Dykes will be Cal’s head coach in 2016, and he is lined up to coach the program through 2019.
This week Cal offered Dykes a contract extension that not only rewards him for a job well done this season by adding on two additional years on the current five-year contract signed in 2013, but allows for strong job security and incentives for he and his coaching staff. It is one thing to offer a head coach a contract extension. Real stability comes with allowing that coach to build a happy and supporting coaching staff. Cal has done that as well by allowing Dykes to increase the salary pool for assistant coaches to $3 million per year. For an assistant coaching staff, that is some good money to work with.
“Over the past three years, Sonny Dykes has demonstrated his commitment to academic as well as athletic excellence,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said in a released statement. “Under his stewardship we will continue to build a successful football program that expresses in every way the high standards of the leading public university in the world.”
“I am excited about leading the Cal football program going forward and am thankful for the opportunity to work together with Chancellor Dirks and our Director of Athletics Mike Williams to continue building a program that everyone associated with the University of California around the world can be proud of,” Dykes said in a released statement. “I am very proud of where our program is right now and the positive steps we have taken over the past three years. Our goal is to compete for conference championships, and we are making significant progress towards realizing that goal. We are going to continue to grow and remain focused on winning on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
As the 2015 season played out, especially when the going got tough in the middle of the season, Dykes had been seen as a potential coaching candidate for a job like Houston if Tom Herman accepted a job elsewhere. Dykes was also considered a candidate for the vacancy at Missouri as the coaching carousel continued to spin. Ultimately, for whatever reason, Dykes stayed at Cal. Dykes may still see his name thrown in some coaching rumor mills in the coming years if he continues to succeed at Cal, but there will be some work to be done in 2016 and beyond to make that a possibility.
Dykes will be expecting to fill some holes with graduating players and potential early enrollees for the NFL Draft in the spring. One way to plug holes is by welcoming transfer students, and Cal is already being tied to one potential transfer. Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen has announced he will be transferring away from the Aggies, and some feel he would be a great fit in Cal’s offense under Dykes. He would be a suitable replacement for Jared Goff, although Allen would have to sit out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules. If Allen lands at Cal, then he should flourish under Dykes, as long as Dykes is still around in 2017.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.