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Cal fires coach Sonny Dykes after 4 seasons


California has fired coach Sonny Dykes after four seasons that produced just one bowl appearance, a person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the school had yet to announce its decision.

Fox Sports first reported Dykes had been fired.

Dykes left Louisiana Tech to replace Jeff Tedford and took over the struggling Cal program in 2013, but could never get the Bears turned around. They went 8-5 in 2015, but then slid back to 5-7 this season.

Dykes and the administration seemed to be at odds after that 2015 season during a prolonged negotiation of a contract extension. The deal was finally worked out and Dykes’ deal was extended through the 2019 season.

Dykes finishes 19-30 at Cal and 10-26 in the Pac-12.

The Bears had been consistent winners for nearly a decade under Tedford with only one losing season from 2002-09. Things started to slip after that. The athletic department struggled financially and the football team’s Academic Progress Rating of 930 was the worst in the Pac-12 at the end of Tedford’s tenure.

The academics bounced back under Dykes. The Bears scored a 997 for the 2014-15 season. But on the field there were few victories, despite record-breaking offenses. With quarterback Jared Goff, the Bears were one of the most prolific teams in the country but only managed one bowl appearance. Cal beat Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl last season.

Goff went first overall in the NFL draft last year and transfer Davis Webb stepped in to keep Cal’s offense rolling. The defense, however, was again one of the worst in the country, ranking 122nd in yards per play.

In four seasons under Dykes, the Bears never ranked better than 102nd in the nation in yards per play allowed.