The University of California, Berkeley, and head football coach Sonny Dykes have agreed in principle to a contract extension through the 2019 season, Director of Athletics Mike Williams announced Thursday.
The new deal, which will average $2.825 million over the next four years, includes an adjustment to Dykes’ compensation over the next two years of his current contract as well as an annual $3.0 million salary pool for assistant coaches. In addition, it includes a one-year rollover clause for each year he wins seven regular-season games and the team achieves an annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 980 or higher. Dykes, who has led Cal to a 7-5 regular-season record this fall and a spot in the 2015 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, initially signed a five-year agreement before the start of the 2013 football season.
“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. “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.”
“We are pleased to announce we have agreed to terms with Coach Dykes and look forward to him continuing to lead our football program,” Williams said. “We are very proud of our football program’s turnaround and growth over the past three years. Athletically and academically, our student-athletes, coaches and staff have shown tremendous improvement and we are seeing positive results on the field and in the classroom. Turning around a program is not an easy task and in three years, Sonny and his staff have been instrumental in re-establishing a strong culture for our football program. Our expectations at Cal are high and we are confident that Sonny will have our program fighting consistently for a Pac-12 title, a major bowl berth and inclusion in the national football conversation.”
“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. “The terms of this extension demonstrate clearly the commitment from everyone involved to build a championship program and keep us moving in the right direction. This is a great university and a tremendous place to coach an incredible group of student-athletes. 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.”
A victory in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force would give Cal eight wins in a season for the first time since 2009. The game will be played in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, Dec. 29 (1 pm CT/11 am PT). The Bears’ most recent postseason appearance came at the 2011 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.
Cal began the 2015 season with five straight victories to mark the program’s best start since the Bears were also 5-0 in 2007 and at one point were in the national rankings for four consecutive weeks, moving as high as No. 19 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the AP Top 25. Cal’s national rankings were its first since 2010 while its last time in the AP Top 25 was 2009.
Dykes was named to the midseason watch list for the 2015 Dodd Trophy, making him one of 20 head coaches on the list who were selected for representing programs with the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field. Under Dykes, the Cal football program improved its single-season APR by 46 points to 969 in the first report date under his guidance and saw its four-year APR move up three points in its second season. When the NCAA reports APR scores in the spring of 2016, the team’s APR is expected to be 997 (out of a possible 1,000).
Cal has continued to break records under Dykes’ leadership on offense in 2015, setting school marks that were previously established in 2014 in passing yardage (4,425) and passing touchdowns (38), with an opportunity to add more single-season records during its bowl game. This year, Cal also ranks fifth nationally in passing offense (368.8 ypg) and eighth in total offense (524.4 ypg), with both second in the Pac-12.
The turnaround over the last two seasons under Dykes from one win in 2013 to seven victories in 2015 is already tied for the third-largest in the modern era of the Cal football program, while a victory in the Armed Forces Bowl would make it tied for second behind only the eight-win improvement from a 2-10 mark in 1946 to a 10-1 record in 1948.
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