Dykes demotes defensive coordinator

After turning in some of the worst defensive numbers in program history in 2013, California will have a new defensive coordinator in 2014, as coach Sonny Dykes announced that Andy Buh will be demoted to a position coach.

Dykes also announced that defensive tackles coach Barry Sacks and defensive backs coach Randy Stewart will not return in 2014.

The Bears ranked last in the Pac-12 in most major defensive categories and among the worst in the nation. They ranked 122nd out of 123 FBS teams in scoring defense (45.9 points per game) and total defense (529.6 yards per game). The Bears yielded 7.1 yards per play and ranked 118th in pass efficiency defense.

“Defense is a critical part of the equation in winning championships,” Dykes said in a statement. “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.”

This is a move Dykes probably had to make after little went right during a 1-11 season, his first in Berkeley. The Bears, while hit by a ridiculous injury epidemic, had better talent than their numbers suggested.

The big question with the next coordinator: Will he run a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense? Cal had success with previous coordinator Clancy Pendergast with a 3-4 defense, but Buh switched to a 4-3 this fall, and it didn't seem he had the right talent to make the switch. For one, it seemed odd that talented 6-foot-5 defensive lineman Deandre Coleman, an NFL prospect as a 3-4 end, was lined up as at nose tackle.

Whoever gets the job, Cal fans should expect significant improvement, simply because there's no way the injuries can be as bad in 2014.