Cal Football Offensive Coordinator Big Board 1.0: The Write For Cal Initiative
Could it be one of the names we have have found?
We release the 1.0 OC Candidate big board that was curated by the Staff of Write For California. By no means does this mean they are interested in the position or that we are interested in hiring them. This list is of coaches that we would like to see or who we think might be considered for the job. We will update the post as we get more official news regarding interviews or shortlists.
Current Role: UTSA Co-OC/OL
Write for Cal Analysis: Fantastic offensive performance by UTSA during the season. The Roadrunners ended the regular season 10-2 in the C-USA with a solid OL, 3 rushers over 500 yards and a 3000 yard passer. His benefits is that he is a proven OL coach with a good offense, he has strong coaching and recruiting connections in Texas both HS and CC. His drawback is that he has no history coaching outside of the Southwest, and if any of the UTSA players he coached could and would transfer to Cal as well as be a net positive for the team.
Current Role: Louisville OC
Write for Cal Analysis: Taylor is an interesting one because of his ties to P5 programs and his time on the West Coast. He was the RB Coach at Stanford with Christian McCaffrey, the RB Coach and Run Game Coordinator at Notre Dame, he also spend some time in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers under Ron Rivera as the WR coach. The requirements line up for Taylor: coached and recruited on the west coast, coached at a high academic institute, and has been a part of winning programs and culture. Also running a dual-threat QB-centric offense from Louisville makes the move more appealing.
Current Role: Buffalo Bills QB Coach
Write for Cal Analysis: This would be a star power higher with Brady’s recent success at LSU as the Passing Game Coordinator prior to his NFL jump. The development of Joe Burrow along with the production of skill players in the likes of Jamarr Chase, Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The finances would work as he currently makes less than what Bill Musgrave made as OC. The questions become, would he want to return to college football and does the west coast make sense for someone who has spent their entire coaching career on the east coast?
Current Role: Sac State HC
Write for Cal Analysis: Not that difficult to connect the dots here. The Former Cal QB has coached at the P5 level as an OC at Utah and now taken Sac State, as a HC, to its second Big Sky Championship. He runs a spread offense that is both explosive and consistent. Cal Fans got their look at it last season when Sac State came to Berkeley. The questions regarding this hire would regard his “demotion” and taking the Beau Baldwin approach, and can he recruit at the necessary level to succeed here in Berkeley?
Current Role: Texas WR Coach & Passing Game Coordinator
Write for Cal Analysis: Marion actually added his name for the Cal job when Musgrave was hired and was interested in the position. He went on to Hawaii and then Pitt, where he coached 2021 Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison. From there he was hired by Steve Sarkisian in Texas. Marion created the Go-Go Offense, a new scheme and formation-based offense that adds in some more matchup problems and run gap mismatches. Would he be interested in coming to Berkeley again? He certainly has the creativity and player development record to show he could do it at the P5 level and would the upgrade to OC be enough to entice him to move from Austin?
Current Role: Washington AHC, WR Coach & Passing Game Coordinator
Write For Cal Analysis: Another young up-and-coming position group coach who has been gaining titles like a Warsaw Pact General gained medals during the cold war. Coming from the midwest via Purdue he coached one of the most explosive passing offenses with DeBoer. Both Odunze and McMillan cracked 1000 yards receiving under his tutelage and the passing game looked alive and well. He has recruiting chops across the country but only 1 year on the West Coast. There are also questions about how much of the scheme is his work vs. DeBoer, add in the fact that his hiring could unseat a fan and player favorite WR coach Burl Toler III.
Current Role: Oregon Co-OC & WR Coach
Write For Cal Analysis: Bo Nix revival and the general boom in the Ducks offense during year 1 of the Lanning reign are all great things to hang one’s hat on. He has recruited at Oregon and UW with stops at Boise and Western Kentucky so some familiarity with the Boise gang is baked in. Similar to Shephard, there is a question with unseating Burl Toler but more importantly he seems to be heir apparent to the title of OC after the hiring of co-OC Dillingham as ASU HC.
Current Role: Former Wisconsin HC
Write For Cal Analysis: The ties here are obvious. Coach Wilcox was Chryst’s DC at Wisconsin before becoming the Cal HC. His brother Geep is the current TE coach on the roster. Finances wouldn’t be an issue with his current buyout at Wisconsin able to leverage a part of his salary demands. Some issues include his ties to the west coast for recruiting purposes and also his playbook would not be that much different than what we ran under Bill Musgrave. OL recruiting and development would have to reach Wisconsin levels to be able to efficiently and effectively run Chryst’s playbook, which was an issue at Wisconsin the last two seasons.
Current Role: Alabama Offensive Analyst
Write For Cal Analysis: Dooley would be a familiarity hire similar to Chryst. Like Chryst, Dooley hired Wilcox for his first major Power 5 defensive coordinator job. Dooley doesn’t have a ton of west coast or offensive coaching experience—he’s spent most of his career in the South, or in the NFL. But in his one two-year stint as an OC with Missouri in 2018-19, the Tigers offense showed promise. After a lot of time in the NFL, Dooley returned to Nick Saban’s coaching consultant clinic at Tuscaloosa. It’d definitely be a bit of a reach, but with a great group of skill players at Cal, could Dooley really unlock his playcalling?
Current Role: Fresno OC and WR coach
Write For Cal Analysis: Cal can’t get Jeff Tedford back, but they could get the next best thing in one of his proteges. Moore was originally a wide receivers coach hired by Tedford at Fresno, stayed there during the Kalen DeBoer era, then upgraded to offensive coordinator under Tedford’s tenure. And Fresno State has turned it around after a slow start this year, rolling into the Mountain West title game winning seven in a row, averaging over 39 points per game. The biggest question mark is how much of the offensive success should be attributed to Moore, as Tedford has always been heavily involved in the offense of most teams he has coached.
Current Role: Former Auburn OC
Write For Cal Analysis: Like a few others on this list, there’s clear familiarity between Kiesau and Wilcox. Kiesau was the wide receivers coach when Wilcox was the linebackers coach at Cal during the first Jeff Tedford stint. Then they reunited in Washington, with Kiesau becoming the offensive coordinator under Steve Sarkisian at the same time Wilcox became defensive coordinator. Kiesau was also offensive coordinator at Boise State for a spell too, and the offenses were generally solid for most of his time prior to Auburn.
The knock on Kiesau as an offensive coordinator is he has never really handled the bulk of the gameplan development—Steve Sarkisian was calling plays in Washington and Bryan Harsin handled most of the planning and work at Boise State and Auburn.
Current Role: Former Nebraska HC
Write For Cal Analysis: Former Nebraska HC, the Scott Frost of Scott Frost day fame, and the 12-0 UCF national champion. Just a couple of years ago he was anointed as the savior of the Huskers only to be fired after underperforming earlier this season. His offenses at UCF were prolific through the air and the ground but sputtered at the Big 10 level unable to maximize and develop the talents of Adrian Martinez and co. He has West Coast recruiting experience during his 6-year stint at Oregon under Chip Kelly. He will likely look at the Cal offensive coordinator job as a way to come back to Power 5 coaching talks.
Mike Sanford Jr
Current Role: Colorado Interim HC
Write For Cal Analysis: Sanford had multiple stops as an OC, including Notre Dame, Boise State, Minnesota and most recently Colorado. Before his stint as the HC at Western Kentucky, he spent time at Stanford as the Recruiting Coordinator along with coaching QBs, RBs and WRs in a variety of combinations during his time there. He certainly knows the west coast and Bay Area and would bring some familiarity there for recruiting purposes. He also knows the recruiting restrictions of a high academic institute with his time at Stanford and Notre Dame. He has recruited and developed some household name talent at the collegiate levels that would go pro. Though he wouldn’t be first choice Sanford would be a nice backup option if others were to options were to fall through.