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January 17, 2012

Bears lose another coach to Huskies

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After losing ace recruiter and defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to conference foe Washington on Monday, the California football program and head coach Jeff Tedford were dealt yet another grievous blow by the Huskies, according to one source close to the program and another close to recruiting.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian replaced departed, Alabama-bound offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier with another member of Tedford's staff in passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau, who had returned to Berkeley after a stint as the offensive coordinator at Colorado.

"Tosh and Eric have decided to take other jobs, and we wish them the best," Tedford said in a statement. "When people have career opportunities they make decisions based upon a wide array of reasons that are important to them. We appreciate their contributions to Cal football, and we exhausted all of our resources to try to retain Tosh and Eric within the confines and continuity of our coaching staff, but both chose to take advantage of new opportunities. We will proceed to replace them with quality coaches who will continue to stand for what the University of California and our football program represent, just as Tosh and Eric did."

Kiesau was the Bears' wide receivers coach from 2002-05, before leaving to become the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator in Boulder from 2006-08, and then the QB coach, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Buffaloes from 2009-10, before returning to Berkeley to "get the band back together," with Tedford and offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Michalczik.

With Kiesau as the wide receivers coach in his first stint, Cal went 33-17 with four winning seasons and three bowl games. In the three years before he returned, the Bears averaged 2,487.67 passing yards per season and 12.23 yards per catch. When he returned, Cal posted 3,206 passing yards and receivers averaged 13.0 yards per catch.

With Lupoi scheuled to make $550,000 a year for the Huskies (current Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast makes over $300,000 per year), Kiesau, as offensive coordinator, is expected to make between $700,000 and $800,000 per year on a three-year contract.

According to a source close to the program, Kiesau made $240,000 per year under his contract with the Bears, who, after Oregon State are collectively the lowest-paid coaching staff in the Pac-12.

"Tosh and Eric are outstanding football coaches that did a terrific job during their tenures on the Cal staff," said athletic director Sandy Barbour. "We certainly valued everything they brought to our football program and appreciate their time with us. We did all we were able to do to have them remain at Cal and appreciate our community's willingness to assist in that effort. We remain excited and confident about the direction of Cal football under the leadership of Jeff Tedford."

More from BearTerritory.net on the status of the recruiting class and Lupoi's departure:

  • Lupoi Leaves for Washington
  • Four-star WR Treggs talks Lupoi departure
  • Four-star WR Payton discusses impact
  • Column: With Lupoi gone, what happens to this class?
  • Four-star LB Barton emotional at news
  • Video analysis: Lupoi leaves, are recruits next?
  • Column: Where does D-Line go from here?
  • Column: Why did Lupoi leave?

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