Clancy Pendergast is still busy moving to the Bay Area. He's just taking a different exit off the freeway.

Less than two weeks after accepting a job with the Raiders to be an assistant to defensive backs coach Lionel Washington, Pendergast has been hired as Cal's new defensive coordinator.

"We are extremely pleased and excited to be able to hire a football coach with Clancy Pendergast's experience and credentials," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said in a statement Friday. "He has been a defensive coordinator on football's biggest stage and will be a tremendous asset to Cal football."

Pendergast's hiring comes 48 hours after Bob Gregory announced he was leaving Cal to become a defensive assistant at Boise State.

Pendergast spent the past 14 seasons coaching in the NFL. He was the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator from 2004-2008, including the Cardinals' run to Super Bowl XLIII after the 2008 season. Pendergast was fired by coach Ken Whisenhunt a few days after the Super Bowl.

Pendergast landed in Kansas City, where he was the Chiefs defensive coordinator last season. But coach Todd Haley let him go when former Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel became available. Pendergast turned down an offer to be the Chiefs defensive backs coach.

"I'm excited to have an opportunity to work here at Cal with its tradition-rich program," Pendergast said, also in a statement. "Hopefully, I can bring the ability to be a very good teacher of the game, give our players direction and put them in position to use their strengths along with their talent to make plays."


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Pendergast also has been on the staffs of the Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers. Before his NFL work, he coached at Mississippi State, USC and Oklahoma. Pendergast didn't play college football.

"We want to play smart, tough and aggressive," Pendergast said. "Those will be the three keys."

Pendergast has experience with the 3-4 base defense, something that Tedford was looking for in replacing Gregory. The Bears switched to a 3-4 before the 2008 season and have spent the past couple years recruiting to that scheme. Cal's 2010 recruiting class included the No. 2 linebacker corps in the country.

Pendergast won't have long to get up to speed. Spring practice starts March 11. It was pushed back from March 6 to give Pendergast more time to get acclimated.