Who would be your number one candidate for the job and why?
Bears With Fangs: If we’re talking about our top choices regardless of how realistic it’d be to get them to come to Berkeley, I’d be ecstatic with Chris Petersen. I know some may scoff at coaches from mid-major conferences, but I love the way he runs his football teams. They play smart, disciplined football, and he seems to be able to extract every last ounce of talent from his players. Imagine what he could do with some of the personnel on this team. The guy’s a winner and has proven it, even against the big boys. Would love to see him in Blue and Gold.
Berkelium97, California Golden Blogs: Pete Carroll. He’s proven he can compete at the highest levels in the conference and in the nation. He was a stellar recruiter, which would be a wonderful complement to the new Cal facilities. Best of all, he was best known as a coach who routinely put together one of the best defenses in the conference. I would like the see Cal hire a coach who excels on the defensive side of the ball; that is a must against the likes of Chip Kelly, RichRod, Leach, and others. If he can run a tight ship under the Cal administration, he would easily be my top candidate.
atomsareenough, California Golden Blogs: Probably Kirby Smart. Who knows if he would leave the South, but I would love this hire for many reasons: 1) He’d be coming from Alabama, with its tradition and culture of success, including national championships and the attendant high expectations - I would love to transplant some of that to Berkeley and displace the silly doom culture we have now; 2) He’d be a statement hire, which would grab national attention and have people talking about how Cal is serious about winning; 3) He’s got experience on both offense and defense (though yes, the offensive experience is fairly minimal), and he also has experience in both college and the NFL (yes, the NFL experience is minimal too, but that’s not a negative in my opinion - I like that he’s a college guy); 4) He’s young/bright/ambitious and will want to prove himself; 5) He is supposedly a good recruiter; 6) He’s got experience as a player, which isn’t all that important, but I think it gives him credibility. He was an all-SEC DB at Georgia with his teammate Champ Bailey.
If Cal were trying to make a Mike Montgomery-type hire, who’s the most realistic candidate that would satisfy most of your concerns?
FrankCohen, California Golden Blogs: Gary Andersen from Utah State certainly isn’t a flashy candidate, but I think he’d be a fine hire that could do some things at Cal. Granted, he doesn’t have much of a track record, but he has done a great job turning the Aggies around. As an in-house hire, Ron Gould seems like he could be a candidate if he’s interested in the position.
Berkelium97, California Golden Blogs: I am fond of Sonny Dykes, but I have recently been intrigued by Dave Doeren. He spent three years as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator and led them to the top-25 in most major categories. Their run defense was particularly formidable under Doeren. He then moved to head coach of Northern Illinois where he lead the Huskies to their first ever MAC Championship Game win in his first year. He has a 19-4 record at NIU (18-1 in his last 19 games). While he had great defenses at Wisconsin, his offense has been stellar at NIU. They’ve been in the top 15 in scoring both years and his dual-threat quarterbacks have been some of the most efficient in the nation. The NIU defense wasn’t great his first year, but this year they have become a top-25 defense (scoring, yards per carry, opp. QB efficiency, sacks, TFLs, fumbles forced). This is an impressive feat, considering that the MAC is known for explosive offenses. He has done a great job on both sides of the ball.
He’s only 40 and is making only about $400k, so a head coaching gig at Cal could be a major step forward in his career. Great offense, great defense, excellent QBs--I’m all aboard the Doeren bandwagon.
Vincent S, California Golden Blogs: I’m a tad confused by the question. If we’re looking for old Stanford coaches that have success in the NFL, that means Jim Harbaugh. If we’re looking for older, wizened guys we know are respectable and run a great program, I’m thinking Chris Ault. Of course, there’s also no chance he comes, but he would seem to be someone to fit the bill. He’s an offensive genius, has singlehandedly kept Nevada relevant, and is widely respected across the country. I’m not sure how he feels about program-building, and his heart seems to be in Nevada, though. Realistic: Honestly, I don’t think there’s anybody who fits. Everyone who I would want is taken, or unrealistic. Too bad.
Bears With Fangs: Not sure what a "Mike Montgomery type of hire is" exactly, but to be honest, I haven’t been really thrilled with any of the names floating around. Of all the coaches we have a realistic shot at, I suppose I’d be most comfortable with Sonny Dykes, but I have my reservations there. He’s done a heck of a job with Louisiana Tech and his offense has proven it can put up points which would be more than welcome here. LT’s defense has been pretty awful this year though, so I’d be a lot more comfortable with the hire if I knew he was bringing along a quality defensive coaching staff. And honestly, I’d feel better about it if I knew Dykes had proven he can sustain that type of success over time. It’s not too difficult for spread offenses to put on a clinic for a few seasons, only to decrease in production after opposing coordinators figure out the offense. So yeah, I still have some big time questions.