Thursday, January 25, 2007


In the hours since we posted that Mike Dunbar has left Cal for the land of 10,000 lakes, we've thought long and hard about who would be the best choice to replace him. And we've come to a pretty firm opinion that we'd like to share with Coach Tedford, his staff and the Golden Bear Nation. The best choice to be the new offensive coordinator at Cal is:

Let's drop the pretense. Tedford is a great - not good, great - offensive coach. Why filter that asset through an established OC who a) probably isn't as terrific as Tedford and b) would inevitably have at least slightly different ideas than the boss about play selection, general philosophy and the like? Tedford is willing to defer to his coaches to an extent - the Bears play Bob Gregory's defense, not Tedford's - but when it comes to offense JT has shown that he runs the show.

Now, it makes little sense to literally give Tedford the OC title. He needs someone to literally call the plays in line with Cal's scheme and...well...coordinate things. For all his offensive prowess, Tedford has also demonstrated the administrative abilities necessary to run a successful program. Graduation rates are up, staff morale has been pretty good, and the team is almost always prepared to play. This isn't to suggest that Tedford couldn't handle both roles - a certain head coach in Los Angeles has had quite a bit of success wearing a coordinator's hat. But it's a risk, and we'd prefer not to add new burdens to our workaholic head man.

Based on history, it would seem that an established coordinator isn't likely to be comfortable running Tedford's offense. George Cortez worked for a while because he was content to stay in the background and focus on offensive execution. But even Cortez eventually left. All the speculation about OC's at other schools (or former OCs' like Tom Cable - who by the by is probably going to wind up in Westwood) is pointless, in our view. History suggests that Cal would be back in this same position a couple of years later.

We need a coordinator who can work with Tedford, implement his schemes and be satisfied with such. This last criteria suggests a position coach, as opposed to a coordinator making a horizontal move. The first criteria suggests someone who has a track record and comfort level with JT. Put together, it seems to us that this is the perfect moment to promote Ron Gould.

Gould is the only staff holdover from the Tom Holmoe era, and has done an outstanding job working with Cal's running backs during his career. He's also an important part of Cal's recruiting effort. Gould would certainly welcome the promotion, and we're sure he'd be up to wearing both hats for a time. Tedford could bring in another staff member - an ace recruiter, perhaps? - to assist with the backs, if necessary.

Any other ideas?


At 3:36 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

After further thought, Ron Gould also sits atop my own list. In addition to all the reasons you mention, Tightwad, Gould's name seems to come up time and time again as being THE guy for both current players and recruits, and I fear that if he isn't promoted soon, he's bound to jump for an opportunity somewhere else. Plus, promoting Gould to OC would presumably open the perfect spot for one Russell White to join Tedford's staff. (Sorry, can't let that one go.)

The big question I have is what promoting Gould might mean for Jim Michalczik--the only other offensive assistant who, at least from afar, appears to rival Gould in stature within the program. Now, I have absolutely zero knowledge of the internal workings of Tedford's staff, and I can't help thinking they resemble what I watch every week on "Friday Night Lights" (almost as good as "The White Shadow"), which I know is seriously delusional. Nonetheless, I half wonder if the surprise hiring of Dunbar last year came because Tedford wasn't yet ready to choose between his two offensive proteges. Maybe he'll do what PC did down south with Kiffin and Sark, making one the "OC" and the other "Assistant Head Coach"?

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Tightwad said...

Good point on coach Mich. That sounds like an elegant solution.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Seth said...

I hate to say it, but I have always thought that Tedford, and Tedford alone should call the plays. The fact that another blog actually supported my stance makes me very happy! Tedford for OC 2007!

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous site said...

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