Let's say Jeff Tedford is not retained. What is the quality you're looking for first and foremost in a replacement candidate?
Bears With Fangs: I have a laundry list of qualities I'd like to see, but no matter how I spin it, I keep coming back to a focus and attention to discipline. All the hoorah and attitude in the world won't mean a thing if the team isn't executing on the fundamentals. Cal's gone from being one of the most polished, best executing teams in the country to one that's fallen to the bottom of most statistical categories in turnovers and penalties. I want players to be held accountable for mistakes instead of committing the same brain farts week after week.
And I believe it starts off the field with a coaching staff's commitment to making sure players are getting it done in the classroom to even the way the player conducts himself in meetings. Fair or not, grad rates have dropped, and even the "Back in Berkeley" series showed players who couldn't appear to sit up their seats or appear interested for a few minutes. It shouldn't be much of surprise then to see a multitude of penalties, turnovers, and shoddy tackling on the field. I want a coach who's going to come in with the utter determination that by hell or high water, the kids are going to play smart, disciplined football. Cal's gotten away with leaning on sheer athleticism long enough.
NorCalNick, California Golden Blogs: My ideal candidate would have two key traits above all others: Successful experience as a head coach (preferably at a school in a major conference) and a keen offensive mind that would allow him to immediately revive Cal's lackluster offense.
Simply put, there aren't a ton of people like that available, for obvious reasons. Guys like that have their choice of jobs and get paid. If this was 2011 I would be driving the Rich Rodriguez bandwagon.
Berkelium97, California Golden Blogs: Discipline. Once one of the most pronounced characteristics of Tedford's teams, discipline has been sorely lacking over the past few years. Boneheaded penalties, bizarre decisions (among players and coaches), lack of attention to detail, and countless turnovers have plagued this team for the past several years. If we get these issues mostly sorted out, we're an 8 win team this year, easily. I want the new coach to restore discipline and accountability to the team, first and foremost.
atomsareenough, California Golden Blogs: I'll second Berkelium and BWF on the "discipline" front. That's first and foremost. Having a disciplined team that played hard and didn't make mistakes was key to the success of the early Tedford era. Also, I'd like to see someone that is creative, energetic, and can bring a new sense of excitement around the program, which is something that has been lacking the past few years. I also want someone who brings a sense of confidence and contained, smartly deployed aggression. I love the "just try to stop us" attitudes that have characterized Chip Kelly's Oregon teams, and much as I hate to say it, Harbaugh's Stanford teams. I think both of those guys are d-bags, and I wouldn't want a Cal coach to be quite that overbearing, but a little bit of attitude and swagger can go a long way. I think it helps recruiting, too, because that type of confidence draws people to you. Also, I have a personal preference for a younger up-and-coming coaching talent rather than a retread more experienced guy, but the challenge is finding someone who wants to stay and build a winning program in Berkeley rather than simply use Cal as a stepping stone to something else.