The San Francisco Chronicle reports that some Cal alumni and fans are ready to fire football coach Sonny Dykes and his staff after just one season. A 1-11 record topped (or is it bottomed?) by a 50-point loss to Stanford will prompt such sentiments.
These are probably the same alums who told then new athletic director Sandy Barbour that her No. 1 priority was signing former head coach Jeff Tedford to a long-term contract extension, the same Tedford who put the program in the situation it’s experiencing now.
Reporter John Crumpacker didn’t quote any disgruntled alums so this just may be what the late Herman Franks called “newspaper talk,” but there is no denying that people have less patience in our 24/7/365 world. Adults who have their egos linked to the performance of their alma mater’s football team and can write six- and seven-figure checks want to see results.
Some perspective is required here, particularly the fact that you can’t turn around a bad team overnight. A lot of people who remember the success of Bill Walsh forget the 49ers were 2-14 the year before he became head coach, and were 2-14 the first year he coached them.
Tedford didn’t leave much talent behind, and it got worse for Dykes when 25 players on the team’s two-deep roster missed 138 games this season because of injuries. But he did discover a first-rate quarterback, Jared Goff, who will serve the team well over the next three years if the Bears can develop an offensive line that keeps him vertical.
It takes at least three years to turn around a bad team, particularly in a competitive conference like the Pac 12. Dykes may not be the man for the job long-term, but we won’t know for sure until he has three seasons behind him.