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January 10, 2013

New Cal DC Andy Buh opens up about what kind of defense he'll run, plus position changes

Andy Buh knew exactly what he had to do.

"Yeah, we got rid of every single piece of red stuff, it's all out the door. We're all gold and blue."

Three weeks and a day since he was hired, California's new defensive coordinator admits he is no stranger to what colors fly in Berkeley. Buh served as a defensive administrative assistant at Cal in 2000 and '01.

He bookends the Jeff Tedford era, having left to coach San Diego State's linebackers upon Jeff's arrival, and having returned after a one-year stint as Wisconsin's linebackers coach following Tedford's dismissal.

"There are still a few people that were in the athletics department when I was here. I was just a real young guy," Buh told GoldenBearReport.com Thursday morning. "Walking through the new facility was a lot of fun, to see how much Cal has improved itself, and then walk through the halls, see the faces, some of the personnel from Stanford moved over [Buh coached in Palo Alto from 2007-09], it gave me a feeling of 'I'm not the new guy'. It felt comfortable to come back to Cal."

More so than Fayetteville. According to Buh, once new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema decided to leave Madison in favor of Razorback country, he invited Buh to come with him.

"You get an opportunity like that, and typically you just jump on it," Buh said. "In the interim, I was called by a few different other schools with interest, but when Sonny (Dykes) called, I knew this one was the right choice."

The 39-year-old Escondido native says he plans to run a 4-3 with the ability to go into a 4-2 nickel, but wants to fit his personnel to his scheme, so he calls that a starting point, if anything.

As for the personnel? Buh says he plans to move some pieces around, including more than one position change.

But that will come with time.

"I'm sitting here waiting for them all to get here," he said. "Anxiously waiting. I've talked to all the linebackers, I'm working down my list, onto defensive ends now. And I've had all of our assistants call their positional groups."

All but one. According to Buh, the Bears will hire one final defensive assistant.

And then there's the matter of recruiting.

"We're kind of doing it the right way. Rather than diving into recruiting first, we took a few days to see what we have here, and then go out and get what we need in the last month here."

The Bears have certainly picked up there interest on the defensive side of the ball with multiple offers and renewed interest to the defensive line and the secondary in particular.

"The first thing we want to do is embrace academics here, that's one of the things that will be crucial to our long-time success -- to recruit quality personnel that can do the course-load here at Berkeley," he said. "We're not necessarily looking for the best kids, we're looking for the right kids. That's our motto. We're not chasing stars, we looking for the right kid. And that might not necessarily be the kid everyone else is going after."

Buh says there is still a lot to do, plus personally he has a second child on the way in a couple months.

As for his first child, his two and half year old son Luke. He's yet another thing on Andy's to-do list.

"He learned how to be a Buckey. Now has to learn to be Bear."

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