BERKELEY -- New Cal football coach Sonny Dykes' holiday gift to the Golden Bears' fan base: open practices.
"Open the gate. Come on in," Dykes said, when asked about his policy on opening practice to the public. "We don't have any secrets."
With rare exception, practices in recent years under former coach Jeff Tedford have been closed to media and fans. Dykes said it won't be that way going forward.
"I don't know why you wouldn't want (fans) there," he said. "This is not my program. This is Cal's program. They should be engaged and they should be able to check it out.
"It's their program."
During an informal Q&A session with about a half-dozen local reporters, Dykes said spring practice will run from late February through late March, finishing before spring break begins on March 23. He expects to conduct 3 p.m. workouts, and they will be accessible to fans.
The Bears likely will hold afternoon workouts in-season, except on Mondays, when they will go at 7 p.m. Sunday will be an off day for players.
Dykes formally announced the hiring of Andy Buh as his defensive coordinator, several days after the news became public. Buh (pronounced Boo) will arrive in Berkeley within a couple days after the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, where he will coach Wisconsin's linebackers against Stanford.
Because Dykes is an offensive coach, he said Buh's hiring was his most important one. "I was just incredibly comfortable with him," Dykes said. "He fits my personality. He's intense and positive. It's hard to find positive defensive guys. They're usually pessimistic."
Dykes said he hopes to have his entire staff hired possibly by the end of this week, although the announcements will depend on when Cal's human resources department completes the paperwork.
Randy Stewart reportedly will coach defensive backs, and Buh will supervise linebackers. Still to be named are assistants for offensive line, defensive line and one other defensive coach.
On other topics:
Areas of need to improve depth, he said, are running back, wide receiver and on both lines.
For more on Cal sports, follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.