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December 21, 2012

Cal continues to fill out coaching staff, adds defensive line and defensive backs coaches

California head coach Sonny Dykes solidified a couple more coaching vacancies Friday, as the university made the hires of both new defensive line coach Barry Sacks, and new defensive backs coach Randy Stewart official.

Here are the press releases pertaining to each hire (note both guys previously coached with new defensive coordinator Andy Buh at Nevada):

Barry Sacks Named Defensive Line Coach
Sacks has spent the last 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Nevada

BERKELEY - Barry Sacks will become the defensive line coach at Cal, head coach Sonny Dykes announced Thursday. Sacks has spent the last 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Nevada with the Wolf Pack playing in bowl games each of the past eight. Contract terms are to be determined and will be in compliance with UC policy.

"Barry has been one of the top defensive coaches in the country for a long time," head coach Sonny Dykes said. "Having strong defensive line play will be crucial to our success on that side of the ball. He has had lots of success and developed several outstanding players throughout his career, and I especially like the familiarity he has with our new defensive coordinator Andy Buh from their time together at Nevada."

"It's a dream come true for me to be able to coach at Cal and experience an institution that has such a fabulous name like the University of California," Sacks said. "It's a situation where you can walk into any household and you are a legitimate university right off the get go academically, athletically and historically in the pride and tradition of Cal football."

"What we bring as a defensive coaching staff is that defensive coordinator Andy Buh have the same vision as to what the Cal defense is going to look like," Sacks said. "Andy and I worked hand-in-hand together and were always on the same page during our time together at Nevada. We enjoy coaching together and are very productive."

The energetic and enthusiastic coach served a number of roles during his 11 seasons from 1992-2002 with the Wolf Pack but was a mainstay on the defensive line in recent seasons developing some of the top pass rushers in Wolf Pack history, most notably Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped.

Moch, who set the school and Western Athletic Conference records for career tackles for loss was picked in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by Cincinnati and is in his second season with the Bengals in 2012.

Basped was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets in 2010, played for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League and is now a member of the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In Sacks' final season during his 11-year stint at Nevada, defensive end Brock Hekking ranked third in the WAC with an average of .62 sacks per game and a total of 8.0 (-62 yards) in his first season as a starter.

Nevada posted a 7-6 record and nearly upset No. 22 Southern Miss in the Hawaii Bowl in 2011, limiting the 15th-ranked scoring offense in the country to 13 points and 125 yards below its season averages. Nevada finished 22nd in the country in pass efficiency defense (115.14) and was led on the defensive side of the ball by first-team Sports Illustrated All-American Brett Roy, a former walk-on defensive back who Sacks coached as a converted defensive tackle. Roy had 18.5 tackles for loss (-57 yards) while pacing the WAC and ranking 12th nationally with 1.42 per game. He also posted 10.0 sacks (-36 yards), ranking second in the WAC and tied for 13th in the country with 0.77 per game. Roy signed an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Jets in 2012 but was later released.

Nevada won the WAC title in 2010, posting a 13-1 overall record and defeating Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with the defensive unit a huge part of the team's success. The Wolf Pack featured a rushing defense that ranked 18th nationally (120.29 ypg) and a scoring defense that was 31st (21.43 ppg), with both ranking second in the WAC. Much of the team's defensive success came from pressure as the Wolf Pack was 24th nationally in sacks (2.50 spg). Moch had 22.0 tackles for loss (-83 yards), leading the WAC and ranking 10th nationally with an average of 1.57 per game.

In 2009, Basped and Moch led the conference in sacks and tackles for loss, respectively. Basped's 9.5 sacks (-60 yards) produced an average of .79 per game, while Moch finished with 20.0 tackles for loss (-93 yards) and an average of 1.54 per game that tied for eighth nationally. Basped was also third in the WAC in tackles for loss (1.04 tflpg), while Moch was third in sacks (.50 spg).

The previous season in 2008 Moch led the WAC in sacks (1.15 spg), while Basped was third in tackles for loss (1.42 tflpg) and Moch fourth (1.31 tflpg).

Sacks coached the Pack's outside linebackers in 2007, including team tackles (93) and tackles for loss (13.5, -37 yards) leader Ezra Butler, who also paced the WAC in per-game tackles for loss (1.23 tflpg). He also coached Nick Fuhr, who led the team in sacks (6.0, -58 yards) and tied for second in tackles for loss (11.5, -79 yards), ranking tied sixth in the WAC in both on a per-game basis (.46 spg, .88 tflpg).

Sacks spent three seasons as Nevada's co-defensive coordinator from 2004-06, helping the Wolf Pack rank 30th in the nation in 2006 in scoring defense (19.15 ppg) and post the country's 21st-ranked passing defense (190.33 ypg) in 2004.

During his first year at Nevada in 2002, Sacks coached CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America and All-WAC tight end Erick Streelman. He moved over to the other side of the ball to work with the defensive line in 2003 and helped tutor two all-WAC selections in Jorge Cordova (the team's MVP in 2003 and school's career sacks leader) and Derek Kennard, Jr. (the team's defensive MVP in 2003).

Sacks is also a tireless and effective recruiter who consistently cultivated his area. Among those Sacks recruited in recent years to Nevada were current NFL players Isaiah Frey (Chicago Bears' cornerback), Virgil Green (Denver Broncos' tight end), James Michael-Johnson (Cleveland Browns' linebacker), Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback) and Rishard Matthews (Miami Dolphins' wide receiver).

Sacks has a total of 33 seasons in the coaching profession with 27 in the collegiate ranks.

His coaching career started with seven seasons as the defensive line coach at Portland State (1986-92), followed by four as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Boise State (1993-96). He also spent one campaign as the defensive coordinator at Adams State (1997) and three as defensive line coach at San Jose State (1998-2000) and one as the defensive coordinator for the San Jose Sabercats (2001), where he helped his team to an Arena Football League Division title before beginning his stint at Nevada.

The Ephrata, Wash., native played four seasons of football at Montana (1976-79) before graduating from the school with a bachelor's degree in health education and physical education in 1980.

Sacks and his wife, Teresa, have two children: Alexandra, 24, and Philip, 21.


Randy Stewart Named Defensive Backs Coach
Veteran coach's experience includes 11 bowl games and one NCAA Division I-AA title

BERKELEY - Randy Stewart has agreed to become the defensive backs coach at Cal, head coach Sonny Dykes announced Friday. Stewart has 32 seasons of coaching experience at the collegiate level with previous stints at Boise State, Cal, Cal Poly, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State, Nevada and UNLV. Stewart has coached 11 bowl teams and one NCAA Division I-AA champion at Boise State among four NCAA playoff appearances.

He has also coached 14 players that have gone on to play in the NFL including Fresno State's Tyron Culver, Therrian Fontenot, A.J. Jefferson, Richard Marshall, Marcus McCauley, James Sanders and Cameron Worrell; Cal's Nnamdi Asomugha, Derrick Gardner, Chidi Iwuoma, Deltha O'Neal and Marquis Smith; and Nevada's Forey Duckett and Brock Marion.

"We are fortunate to be able to hire a talented veteran coach such as Randy Stewart with the wealth of experience and success he has had on the collegiate level as well as recruiting in California," Dykes said. "He has had several impressive tenures with successful programs and we're sure he will continue that run at Cal."

"I'm unbelievably excited to be back at Cal," Stewart said. "My first time around I loved this place. I see great potential. All of the pieces are in place now. You can recruit wherever you want to in the country. Cal brings a huge brand name. The university gets you in the door with everybody."

"Defensively, I believe with the staff we're putting together we will play hard fast, physical, highly technical and fundamentally sound," Stewart continued. "It will give us the chance to win every game with the ultimate goal to get to the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day."

Prior to spending a single season in 2012 at Eastern Michigan coaching the linebackers, Stewart had a successful 10-year run at Fresno State from 2002-11 in which the Bulldogs played in nine bowl games during his tenure. He worked with the defensive backs for the entire decade of his tenure and added defensive coordinator duties for his final three seasons of his tenure.

The Fresno State defense had its strongest season during Stewart's three-year stint as defensive coordinator in 2010 when the Bulldogs ranked second in the WAC in pass defense (208.77 ypg), fourth in total defense (367.23 ypg), fourth in rushing defense (158.46 ypg) and fifth in scoring defense (30.00) while holding five opponents to 20 points or fewer. Fresno State was also known for making the big play, ranking second in the WAC and tied for ninth nationally by averaging 2.85 sacks per game with a total of 37.0 (-240 yards).

WAC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Carter (11.0 sacks, -63 yards, .85 spg) and first-team All-WAC selection Logan Harrell (10.5 sacks, -79 yards, .81 spg) were the top two players in sacks the conference in 2010, while ranking tied for ninth and tied for 13th in the nation, respectively. The two defensive linemen also ranked tied for second and tied for sixth in the conference in tackles for loss. Carter totaled 16.5 tackles for loss (-93 yards) for an average of 1.27 per game, while Harrell had 14.0 (-84 yards) for an average of 1.08.

In his first game as Fresno State's defensive coordinator in 2009 the Bulldogs pitched a shutout against UC Davis. Fresno State would finish third in the WAC in both scoring defense (28.38 ppg) and pass defense (199.62 ypg), ranking 32nd nationally in the latter. Carter was again a featured player and first-team All-WAC choice, ranking fourth in the conference in tackles for loss with an average of 1.00 per game and tied for fifth in sacks at .38 per contest. Carter finished with totals of 5.0 sacks (-36 yards) and 13.0 tackles for loss (-51 yards).

Linebacker Ben Jacobs matched Carter's two first-team All-WAC honors (2009-10), while linebacker Travis Brown was the other non-defensive back to pick up a second-team All-WAC selection (2010) during Stewart's tenure in the position.

Stewart also made a habit of developing outstanding players in the secondary throughout his entire 10-year run at Fresno State, led by two-time second-team All-WAC selections Moses Harris (2008, '09) and Lorne Bell (2009, '10). Desia Dunn added second-team All-WAC honors in 2010.

There were also several highlights during Stewart's first seven seasons at Fresno State as the team's defensive backs coach before he became defensive coordinator in 2009.

In 2007, Fresno State's pass defense ranked third in the WAC (226.38 ypg), while its pass defensive efficiency was fourth in the WAC and 21st nationally (140.63).

His 2006 squad featured a second-team All-WAC selection in Josh Sherley while fellow defensive back McCauley would go on to be drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

Three Fresno State defensive backs were either first or second-team All-WAC picks in 2005. Culver earned first-team honors to mark the fourth straight season that a Bulldog defensive back was so honored.

McCauley and Marshall were second-team selections. Fresno State's secondary was one of the nation's best in 2004, as the Bulldogs led the WAC and ranked third in the nation in pass efficiency defense (99.12) while allowing just nine touchdown passes all season; the fifth-lowest total in the nation. The 2004 Bulldogs also led the WAC in scoring defense (21.08 ppg), pass defense (174.75 ypg) and total defense (339.25 ypg) with the team's pass defense ranking 13th nationally.

His 2003 squad finished second in the WAC in pass defense (206.43 ypg) and recorded 16 interceptions to rank third in the conference, with Sanders earning first-team All-WAC honors after picking up a second-team selection in 2002.

In his first season with the Bulldogs in 2002, Stewart helped Worrell develop from a walk-on into a first-team All-WAC selection and NFL undrafted free agent who would eventually have a six-year professional football career.

Stewart had a previous five-year stint at Cal from 1997-2001 as the defensive backs coach with the Golden Bears leading the Pac-10 in 1999 in total defense (352.6 ypg). He also added recruiting coordinator duties for his final two seasons. While at Cal, he guided such players as O'Neal and Smith, first and third-round selections by Denver and Cleveland in the 2000 and 1999 NFL Drafts.

Prior to his arrival at Cal, Stewart was the secondary coach for three seasons at UNLV (1994-96) and helped the program to its first bowl berth in 11 years when UNLV won a share of the 1994 Big West Conference crown and went on to defeat Central Michigan in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Stewart was the defensive backs coach at Nevada for two seasons (1992-93), where he coached two future NFL players in Duckett and Marion. His 1992 squad became the first team to win a conference title (Big West) in its first season as a Division I-A participant (now Football Bowl Subdivision to earn a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Before his stint at Nevada he spent five seasons at Cal Poly (1987-91), serving as the Mustangs' linebackers and special teams coach for one campaign before four working with the secondary and special teams. The 1990 squad won the Western Conference title and reached the Division II national quarterfinals.

Stewart earned a bachelor's degree of science in physical education from Boise State in 1982 after joining the coaching ranks at his alma mater in 1980, where he served as an assistant defensive backs coach for the first of his seven campaigns followed by six campaigns as the wide receivers coach. The Broncos won the 1980 Division I-AA (now Football College Subdivision) national title in his first season, followed by a semifinal appearance in 1981 and a quarterfinal showing in 1982.

Stewart was a two-year letterwinner at Boise State (1978-79) and led his team in interceptions as a senior while twice earning the Denny Erickson Memorial Award of Valor. Prior to his arrival as a player at Boise State, he was a team captain and earned Most Improved Honors during his second of two seasons at Moorpark Junior College (1976-77).

Stewart and his wife, Pati, have three children, Carly, Jason and Taylor, and five grandchildren.

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