A tragic day today at Cal. According to multiple sources, 21-year old, Ted Agu collapsed during a conditioning run up a hill and died at the hospital.
I briefly knew Ted, but he was a great guy on and off the field. He worked as hard as anyone else everyday to be at Cal.
Please give your thoughts and prayers to Ted and his family, and also our players and staff.
BERKELEY – Cal head football coach Sonny Dykes announced Wednesday that Art Kaufman, who has developed some of the top defenses in the country at multiple stops over his 32-year collegiate career, has agreed to become the Golden Bears’ defensive coordinator. Kaufman has 12 seasons of experience as a defensive coordinator at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, serving in the role at Cincinnati, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas Tech. He was nominated for the prestigious Broyles Award given annually to college football’s top assistant coach both at North Carolina in 2011 and Texas Tech in 2012.
“After an extensive search and evaluation process, we have identified one of the top coaches and teachers in the business to join our staff at Cal,” Dykes said. “Art has a tremendous amount of experience and an excellent track record in significant roles on the defensive side of the ball at the highest level of college football. He is a great fit at Cal as he shares in our philosophy of developing players to their fullest potential both on and off the field, while being an excellent teacher in all aspects of the game.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Cal football coaching staff and believe that my coaching experience will help our defense improve quickly,” Kaufman said. “I’m looking forward to building a strong defense that will make significant contributions to our success as a football team. Sonny Dykes is in the initial stages of building a tremendous football program at Cal, and it’s great to be part of that process early on.”
Kaufman was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Cincinnati in 2013 when the Bearcats finished 9-4 overall and played in the Belk Bowl. Kaufman’s defense was one of the best in the country, ranking in the top 10 nationally in both rushing defense (6th, 104.5 ypg) and total defense (9th, 315.6 ypg). Cincinnati was also among the top 30 in 10 of the 11 primary defensive categories tracked in the national stats, including 14th in scoring defense (21.0 ppg).
Defensive lineman Jordan Stepp earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors in the inaugural season of the league while three Bearcats – defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon, linebacker Greg Blair and cornerback Deven Drane – were second-team selections.
“I feel confident that Art Kaufman is the right coach to lead our defense,” Dykes said. “I’ve observed his career for many years and have a strong appreciation for what he has accomplished. His teams are always fundamentally sound and play hard. The thing that really stood out as we researched him is that all of his former players that we talked to said the highlight of their career was playing for Art. It’s a real credit to who he is as a person and a coach.”
“When you have an opportunity to hire a coach of this caliber it speaks volumes to Cal’s reputation on a national level,” Dykes added. “Art had lots of other opportunities but joined us at Cal because he sees the same potential that I saw when I decided to take this coaching job. We’re all excited about the future of Cal football and the opportunity to build something together.”
The performance of Kaufman’s defense last season came on the heels of a 2012 campaign in which he led a complete overhaul of the Texas Tech defense.Inheriting a 2011 unit that ranked 114th nationally in total defense (485.58 ypg), the Red Raiders improved to 38th (367.31 ypg) while ranking second in the Big 12 Conference. Texas Tech was keyed by a pass defense that led the league and ranked 15th in the country (192.00 ypg). The Red Raiders finished 8-5 overall and were victorious at the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder along with defensive backs Cody Davis and D.J. Johnson were named second-team All-Big 12 in 2012, while Davis was also a first-team Capital One Academic All-American® and one of 15 finalists for the prestigious William B. Campbell Trophy.
“Art has a proven track record of quick improvement and that was on full display during his tenure at Texas Tech,” Dykes said. “He also has the ability to mesh a defense with a fast-paced offense. Those are two things that we obviously need.”
Kaufman joined the Red Raiders from North Carolina, where he was the defensive coordinator for the Tar Heels in 2011 and the linebackers coach for three campaigns from 2009-11. Kaufman helped guide the 2011 Tar Heels to a No. 27 national ranking in rush defense (123.92 ypg), a No. 48 ranking in total defense (365.23 ypg) and an appearance against Missouri in the Independence Bowl.
Carolina developed several outstanding linebackers under Karuman’s guidance, including current NFL players Zach Brown (Tennessee), Bruce Carter (Dallas) and Kevin Reddick (New Orleans).
Prior to his three-year run at North Carolina, Kaufman spent one season coaching the defensive line and special teams at Southern Miss (2008), three coaching linebackers at Middle Tennessee (2005-07), two both as the defensive line coach at East Carolina (2003-04) and two as the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Arkansas Tech (2000-01).
During his lone season at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles posted a 7-6 record and won their last five games, including a New Orleans Bowl victory. Kaufman’s 2006 team at Middle Tennessee won a co-Sun Belt title and was the school’s first bowl team in 45 seasons, with the Blue Raiders defense ranking third in the nation in tackles for loss (8.08 tflpg) and 20th in sacks (2.77 spg). His first team at Arkansas Tech was 8-2.
Kaufman coached 10 of the previous 13 seasons over two stints at Mississippi, starting in 1988 with a four-year run working with defensive ends and linebackers before returning to Ole Miss for six campaigns from 1995-2000 as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
During his first stint at Ole Miss, Kaufman helped guide the Rebels to back-to-back bowl appearances during the 1989 (Liberty Bowl) and 1990 (Gator Bowl) seasons for the first time since 1970 and 1971. In his second tour of duty, the Rebels played in four straight bowls (1997-2000) with his 1999 squad ranking fourth nationally in rushing defense (76.9 ypg).
In between his two stints at Mississippi he spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Louisiana Tech (1992-94). His 1992 team ranked fourth nationally in total defense (256.5 ypg).
Kaufman also coached five seasons at Northwestern State (1983-87), working with the outside linebackers for the first four campaigns before being promoted to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for his fifth and final season.
Kaufman broke into the coaching business as a graduate assistant at Delta State in 1982 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1980. He was a four-year starting linebacker during his collegiate playing days with the Boll Weevils.
A native of Dermott, Ark., Kaufman has three daughters: Tara, Taylor and Madison.
Cal head football coach Sonny Dykes announced a restructuring of the Golden Bears’ defensive coaching staff on Wednesday. Defensive coordinator Andy Buh has been reassigned as a position coach, while defensive tackles coach Barry Sacks and defensive backs coach Randy Stewart will not return in 2014.
“Defense is a critical part of the equation in winning championships,” Dykes said. “I owe it to our student-athletes to provide them with the best conditions for success, both on and off the field, and I am committed to hiring coaches who will develop our players to their fullest potential while being excellent teachers in all aspects of the game. I will look to hire a defensive coordinator with significant experience in that role who can lead our defensive unit to success in one of the most prolific offensive conferences in the country.”
Sat., Apr. 26 Cal Football Spring Game (P12N) Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) 11 a.m. PT
Sat., Aug. 30 at Northwestern Evanston, IL (Ryan Field) TBA
Sat., Sept. 6 Sacramento State Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Sat., Sept. 20 *at Arizona Tucson, AZ (Arizona Stadium) TBA
Sat., Sept. 27 *Colorado Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Sat., Oct. 4 *at Washington State Pullman, WA (Martin Stadium) TBA
Sat., Oct. 11 *#Washington Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Sat., Oct. 18 *UCLA Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Fri., Oct. 24 *Oregon Santa Clara, CA (Levi’s® Stadium) TBA
Sat., Nov. 1 *at Oregon State Corvallis, OR (Reser Stadium) TBA
Thu., Nov. 13 *at USC Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) TBA
Sat., Nov. 22 *Stanford Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Sat., Nov. 29 *BYU Berkeley, CA (Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium) TBA
Comments about schedule:
This is the first time in a long time that we start the season away from home. Maybe that’s a good thing, since we’ve lost the past couple openers at home. Only 6 home games in 2014 because 1 of the games will be played at Levi Stadium against Oregon. I don’t like that our last game is against BYU instead of the Big Game, but I do like that we have a bye week before the Big Game. We haven’t had two bye weeks in the middle of our schedule for the past few years (the same years that we didn’t make bowl games), so hopefully these bye weeks will allow our athletes to recover better than the last two seasons.
National Championship implications tonight between Oregon and Stanfurd. Can Oregon keep up the monster season they are having?
Last week: 2-1. Overall: 49-9
Oregon @ Stanfurd: This is a tough one because of Stanfurd’s ability to stop the run. However, I think Oregon is going to come out on top with a strong DEFENSIVE performance. Oregon 35 - Stanfurd 21
Arizona State @ Utah: I still have no idea how Utah beat Stanfurd. ASU will be challenged from the get-go but should be able to come out with the win. Arizona State 42 – Utah 24
Colorado @ Washington: The Huskies are very strong at home and this should not be any different against the Buffs. Colorado 17 - Washington 49
UCLA @ Arizona: Arizona has yet to lose at home but they haven’t exactly faced any formidable opponents there either. I see the Bruins winning this high scoring game. UCLA 48 – Arizona 35
Went 4-0 last week with my predictions! This week we get an early start on the Pac-12 action with ASU-WSU on Thursday and USC-OSU on Friday.
Last week: 4-0. Overall: 47-8
Arizona State @ Washington State: Even though this is an away game on a Thusrday night, ASU should be able to take care of business. Arizona State 34 – Washington State 14
USC @ Oregon State: OSU may have lost last week against Furd but they are still strong at home and should defeat a much weaker Trojan team. USC 17 – Oregon State 35
Colorado @ UCLA: As long as Hundley doesn’t turn over the ball, the Bruins should not have too much trouble with the Buffs. Colorado 10 - UCLA 42
If you haven’t seen it yet, here is Sandy’s response to Cal’s terrible/worst GSR:
Dear Friend of Cal Athletics:
By now, you have most likely seen or heard about our Graduation Success Rate (GSR) numbers published by the NCAA last week. While the majority of our teams and student-athletes produced exceptional results, two of our programs fell short of our standards and expectations. Before I describe all that we are and will be doing to address this issue, I want to provide a few more details about the data.
Specifically, our football team had a GSR of 44 percent and our men’s basketball team was at 38 percent. Ultimately, I am accountable for these results, and it is my responsibility to identify and address short-comings that have contributed to this unacceptable level of academic achievement. With that said, since evidence surfaced of declining academic results for these two teams, we have been far from complacent. We have already begun to see the results of recent corrective actions that should produce higher scores in the coming years. And it’s not just about numbers. What we are really talking about is the extent to which we are recruiting and fully supporting the kind of young men and women who are ready, able and motivated to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by this university.
It is important to understand that the recent GSR figures do not suggest that our student-athletes are failing in their classwork; rather they are often choosing to pursue other interests, such as a professional athletic career, before meeting their academic requirements to graduate. All of us understand the value of a Berkeley degree, and it is up to us to establish the expectation and the culture that encourages our student-athletes to graduate.
The latest GSR data is based on freshmen who entered school between 2003-06. Given this lag in reporting, we were able to identify factors contributing to the decline in academic performance well before the data was released. As a result, it was two years ago that we began a concerted effort to address the issue through a number of measures designed to reverse what was a disturbing trend, particularly within our football program. Among the steps already initiated are:
- holding monthly meetings with athletic department leadership, the faculty athletic representative, academic advisors and the head coach to review the team’s academic improvement plan to understand and manage problems before they arise;
- encouraging players to take more challenging classes earlier in their careers to avoid the distractions that can come in a final season that can keep them from finishing their degrees;
- a heightened focus on recruiting prospects who are motivated and prepared to succeed academically and athletically at Cal;
- the hiring of an additional academic specialist for football, bring that total to five full time personnel;
- establishing policies for student-athletes in their final semester that they must graduate or leave school in good academic standing in order to continue to train at the Simpson Center or in Memorial Stadium.
Critical to this effort is the commitment from our coaching staff. From the first day Coach Dykes set foot on campus, he established standards of accountability for classroom performance. With a combination of these new expectations and our recent actions, we have seen 24 players graduate over the last year, and the team’s term GPA for the spring semester was its highest in five years and the GPA for the summer session was its highest in 10 years.
Similarly, Coach Montgomery has a long history of emphasizing the importance of academics throughout his career, and of the six seniors on the men’s basketball team the past three seasons, five have graduated and a sixth is taking one class this semester to earn his degree.
By no means should the attention on these two sports detract from the great work by so many of our student-athletes. We should all be proud that four of our teams – women’s lacrosse, women’s tennis, volleyball and women’s water polo – had perfect 100 percent graduation rates, that 16 of 23 measured sports had a GSR of at least 85 percent and that a record nine programs were over 90 percent.
These numbers provide a clear indication of where our priorities are and what can be accomplished, but it will take time to see the results of our current efforts reflected in graduation rate data.
In the months ahead I also plan on convening a university-wide task force consisting of students, faculty and leaders from Athletics and the campus administration for a review of all of the factors that impact the academic performance of our student-athlete population. While there is much that Athletics can and will do on its own, we must have a constructive and comprehensive partnership with the entire University to ensure that the admissions process, academic support programs and our campus culture are all supporting widely shared goals in terms of student-athlete achievement and experience. We cannot and will not be satisfied until we reach a 100 percent graduation rate with every one of our programs.
Your support plays a vital role and I thank you for helping to create a set of expectations that we use as guiding principles when developing programs and allocating resources for our student-athletes. I’m proud to serve as the director of athletics at one of the most prominent universities in the world – both academically and athletically – a responsibility that I take very seriously. By working together, we can look forward to supporting and building a program that strives for comprehensive excellence now and into the future.
Director of Athletics