California's offense will feature a lot of chefs in the kitchen this fall as the Bears attempt to rediscover their mojo following the first losing season under coach Jeff Tedford.
As expected, Jim Michalczik has been announced as the offensive coordinator and line coach. Marcus Arroyo, an offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator at Wyoming the past four years, has been hired as quarterbacks coach. Associate head coach and running backs coach Ron Gould has been promoted to the team’s run game coordinator. Receivers coach Eric Kiesau will serve as passing game coordinator.
It is not yet clear who will have final word on play calls. That might be Tedford, who has said he will be more involved with the quarterbacks -- the competition starting this spring is wide open -- and he also said Wednesday that it's "possible" he will call plays.
Michalczik and Kiesau previously coached with Tedford when the Bears' offense was rolling up big numbers, on the ground and through the air. Michalczik spent seven seasons coaching the Bears’ line from 2002-08. He has been the offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders the past two seasons after 19 previous campaigns in the collegiate coaching ranks.
“We had a tremendous amount of success in our offensive line play during Jim’s previous tenure at Cal and we plan to resume and surpass that level of success in the future," Tedford said in a statement.
Cal was 59-30 (.663) record during Michalczik's tenure and ranked in the nation’s top 30 in scoring offense in six of his first seven seasons in Berkeley. Cal’s rushing attack produced 1,000-yard rushers in each of Michalczik’s first seven seasons and also did well in pass protection. Over the 2006 and 2007 seasons, the Bears allowed only a combined 24 sacks in 26 games -- the fewest in the Pac-10 and third best in the nation during that period.
Arroyo, a former San Jose State quarterback, has spent the past eight seasons coaching at the collegiate level.
During his two seasons at Wyoming, Arroyo developed 2009 true freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels into the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and the offensive MVP of the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. In 2009 he installed a new spread offense that helped the Cowboys score 30 or more points five times, winning all five of those games. Arroyo's offense displayed an ability to come from behind in his first season, recording five fourth-quarter comebacks. His offensive unit did an outstanding job of protecting the ball as well. Wyoming ranked No. 7 in the nation in fewest turnovers lost (14) and was No. 15 in the NCAA in both fewest fumbles lost (7) and fewest interceptions thrown (7).
Arroyo coached San Jose State's quarterbacks from 2005-2008, where he turned Adam Tafralis into one of the nation's most prolific and efficient passers. Tafralis set school records for career passing yards (7,548) and career total offense (8,111) and went on to sign a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts in the spring of 2008.
Now what can these guys do to rebuild an offense that has fallen on mostly trended down since Aaron Rodgers departed in 2004? Tedford thinks the collective wisdom and familiarity among the coaches will lead to beautiful music.
"There's so much familiarity between coach Gould, Keisau and Michalczik, it's like reassembling the band," Tedford said after he signed a highly ranked recruiting class on Wednesday. "We are all back together. There are no hidden agendas. Everybody understands what's going on."