BERKELEY -- In the increasingly offense-minded Pac-12 Conference, Cal will move forward with new coach Sonny Dykes, whose Louisiana Tech team led the nation in scoring this fall.
Dykes, 43, was hired Wednesday after a 15-day search to replace Jeff Tedford, the school's all-time winningest coach, who was fired after a 3-9 season.
The school will introduce Dykes on Thursday at a 2 p.m. news conference.
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour tweeted: "We've found r man! Bringing new head coach back2Berkeley Thurs. Young men in r program will exp great success under his leadership!"
Dykes led Louisiana Tech to a 9-3 season that included road wins over Illinois and Virginia and a 59-57 loss to Texas A&M. But Tech will not play in a bowl game after briefly stalling and losing an offer from the Independence Bowl.
The Bulldogs were 22-15 in three seasons under Dykes.
"Our objectives are numerous," Dykes said in a release from Cal announcing his hiring. "In addition to winning football games, we will strive to develop the total student-athlete in the classroom, on the field of play and in the campus and local communities. We want a win-everywhere mentality."
Throughout the search process, involving a variety of names, Dykes seemed to be a constant. Cal also is believed to have made an effort to lure Boise State's Chris Petersen, who apparently will stay where he is.
The Bears interviewed San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre last Friday, but a source told this newspaper early Wednesday that he no longer was involved in Cal's search.
A source close to Dykes said he appeared conflicted as he entered a team meeting Wednesday night in Ruston, La. "But I think he's excited. This place will be dear to him because it was his first head coaching job. One of his children was born here. I think (Cal) is going to get a real good coach."
The Bulldogs averaged an NCAA-best 51.5 points this season, scoring at least 50 in eight games. Cal, by comparison, scored 30 points just twice against FBS opponents.
Tech quarterback Colby Cameron, the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, passed for 4,147 yards with 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions. The Bulldogs also rushed for more than 2,700 yards and 47 TDs.
Senior wide receiver Quinton Patton, who caught 104 passes including 13 touchdowns, told the Daily Ruston Leader, "I loved Coach Dykes. He made me a better player, but more importantly, a better person."
A key for Dykes will be hiring a strong defensive coordinator to go with his prolific offense. Tech finished last nationally in total defense, allowing 40 points or more five times, including in season-ending losses to WAC rivals Utah State and San Jose State.
The Bulldogs also ranked 121st out of 124 teams in penalties, just two spots better than Cal.
Born in Big Spring, Texas, Dykes is the son of longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes. He played baseball at Texas Tech and earned a master's degree from Kentucky.
His coaching résumé includes stops at Kentucky, Texas Tech and Arizona, where he was involved with players including quarterback Tim Couch, wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski, all of whom went on to the NFL. At Texas Tech, he mentored under current Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Dykes spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Arizona before taking the Louisiana Tech job.
He is an offensive specialist as was his Cal predecessor, although Tedford came to Cal as a passing guru who favored the pro-style game. Dykes utilizes a spread game with multiple wide receivers.
Dykes inherits a Cal squad featuring a solid returning cast of receivers and running backs but must shore up its offensive line and develop a new quarterback. Freshman Zach Kline of Danville is expected to challenge Allan Bridgford, who started the final two games after senior Zach Maynard injured his knee.
Dykes and his wife, Kate, are parents to two daughters.
Bay Area News Group staff writer Jon Wilner contributed to this report.
HOMETOWN: Lubbock, Texas
Head Coaching record
Year School Record
2010 Louisiana Tech 5-7
2011 Louisiana Tech 8-5*
2012 Louisiana Tech 9-3
* Lost in Poinsettia Bowl.
Recent coaching experience: 2000-06, Texas Tech, WRs/co-offensive coordinator; 2007-09, Arizona, offensive coordinator/QBs
INSIDE: Cal receiver Keenan Allen says he will enter the NFL draft. Page 9