Cal is reportedly "set to hire" Oregon Co-DC & Safeties Coach Keith Heyward
Trading coaches with Oregon
The Golden Bears were left with a key vacancy in the coaching staff after Tim DeRuyter (associate head coach, co–defensive coordinator, and outside linebackers) left the program for Autzen as the Ducks’ new defensive coordinator. After rumors circulated over the weekend that the Bears were interested in Oregon’s Co-DC and DB Coach Keith Heyward, it looks like it’s actually happening. Cal is reportedly “set to hire [Heyward] for the co–defensive coordinator role”.
As a player, Heyward played 4 years for Oregon State, ending his career with 35 starts and with honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors. He played a few years as a professional in the CFL, NFL Europe and Arena Football League, before beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 2005.
Heyward has been with the Ducks as the safeties coach since 2017 and stuck with them after the departure of Willie Taggart to FSU. In 2018, he was promoted to Co-DC when Mario Cristobal took over as the Head Coach and in 2019 was made Assistant Head Coach. Heyward has been coaching defensive backs in the Pac-12 since 2008, with stops at Oregon State (his alma mater), Washington, and USC. Heyward also worked with Cal HC Justin Wilcox at his stops in Washington and USC, as the Defensive Backs coach under then-DC Wilcox.
There may have to be some shuffling of responsibilities given DeRuyter’s former responsibilities with the outside linebackers. Will Heyward and current defensive backs coach Marcel Yates split the secondary (cornerbacks and safeties) with all linebackers moving to Peter Sirmon? Will Heyward or Yates switch to outside linebackers? Heyward coached them in 2007 at Cal Poly and Yates coached them in 2016 & 2018 at Arizona.
Coach Heyward is known as a top recruiter and good developer of talent. He recruited and/or coached multiple NFL draft picks and top tier recruits. Players including the likes of Desmond Trufant, Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, Adoree Jackson, Juju Smith-Schuster, Su’a Cravens, Iman Marshall, Marvell Tell, Jaire Alexander, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jevon Holland, Kevin King, CJ Pollard and Sean Dollars.
Welcome to Berkeley, Coach Heyward!