Saturday, January 29, 2011

Construction Progress at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley

SF Chronicle: Cal Wraps up Recruiting

John Crumpacker
Less than a week before national football signing day on Feb. 2, Cal has apparently wrapped up its hunting and gathering of high school talent, with one junior college recruit for good measure. According to both and, Cal received an oral commitment on Thursday from elite cornerback Stefan McClure of Vista High School in San Diego County. Rivals rates the 5-10, 175-pound McClure as the 118th best player in the country at any position while Scout pegs the young man as the country's 4th-best cornerback.
Either way, it's a nice score for coach Jeff Tedford and especially his new secondary coach, Ashley Ambrose. According to, Ambrose made a big impression on McClure at the recent U.S. Army all-star game in San Antonio. Another factor in McClure orally committing to Berkeley was the prospect of playing in a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012, when he'll be a sophomore.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Okanes: Ludwig Bolts to SDSU is reporting that Cal offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is leaving to take the same position at San Diego State. This could be why there has been a delay in the expected announcement that Jim Michalczik is re-joining Cal’s staff. Michalczik could be coming back as offensive coordinator as well as offensive line coach.
Michalczik was the offensive coordinator in 2007 at Cal, although head coach Jeff Tedford called all the plays. If Michalczik is indeed going to become the OC again, might Tedford return to play-calling duties? Or might new wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Eric Kiesau become the offensive coordinator? We should find out soon. Tedford has been declining interview requests until Signing Day, but hopefully the athletic department will release something soon.
Link to article.

ESPN: Coaching Changes at Cal

Ted Miller, ESPN
Most California fans have had mixed feelings about Bears offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, so his departure to San Diego State probably won't inspire much gnashing of teeth. Multiple sources -- here first and here second and here third -- are reporting Ludwig's departure to join new Aztecs coach Rocky Long. Ludwig, 46, has bounced around. In addition to Cal, he's been the coordinator at Utah (2005-08), Oregon (2002-04) and Fresno State (1998-2001).
Ludwig's departure, as Jonathan Okanes notes, probably explains the delay of the much-anticipated announcement of Jim Michalczik's return as the Bears offensive line coach. There are no mixed feelings about Michalczik, who was a member of coach Jeff Tedford's first staff in 2002, serving as assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator, in addition to line coach, before he bolted to Washington (for a few weeks) and then the Oakland Raiders. He was widely credited for the consistency of the Bears blocking -- run and pass protection -- which fell into decline when he left. Of course, the Bears also seemed to drop off in line talent over the past two seasons, so it doesn't seem completely fair to dump on Steve Marshall, who is now at Colorado.
Link to rest of article here.

Wall Street Journal Give Props To Aaron Rodgers

This is from today's Wall Street Journal article about the Packers' win over Chicago:
"For Mr. Rodgers, it’s an opportunity to build a new legacy. After parting with Mr. Favre, who was, er, not quiet ready to retire, Green Bay placed its future in the hands of the late first-round pick from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Favre would go on to rinse and repeat with the Jets and the Vikings.  Of all the things Mr. Rodgers did on Sunday, the most impressive may have been in the third quarter when, on the verge of taking the Packers into the end zone, he threw an interception straight into the arms of Chicago’s Brian Urlacher.
Mr. Urlacher appeared ready to rumble for a touchdown, but Mr. Rodgers managed to get an angle and undercut the linebacker at midfield, keeping Chicago off the scoreboard.  It was the kind of scruffy backyard play that an old Packers quarterback would have admired. But this is a different kind of Green Bay leader, and a different kind of Green Bay."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Contra Costa Times: Positive Signs Abound in Berkeley

Jon Wilner
Stanford football has dominated the Bay Area college sports scene for the better part of seven weeks, what with the Orange Bowl invite and the Heisman and the Orange Bowl game and Andrew Luck’s decision to stick around and Jim Harbaugh’s decision to leave and David Shaw’s promotion.  But across the Bay, and away from the spotlight, Cal football is having an extremely productive winter.  Yes, the Bears lost star tailback Shane Vereen to the NFL Draft, and that’s a big blow, for sure. But it wasn’t a surprise — Vereen had graduated, after all — and it doesn’t by any stretch overshadow the positive developments in Berkeley.  I’m referring, of course, to the coaching staff upgrades and the recruiting successes, which border on the phenomenal considering the won-loss record in 2010.

SF Chronicle: Tedford Keeping Busy

By John Crumpacker
True to his word, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford wasted no time getting back to work after slogging through his first losing season in Berkeley.  By all accounts, Tedford has secured oral commitments from a group of 18 high school recruits that should put Cal in the top 15 in the country, according to the various web sites that keep track of such things.  National signing day on Feb. 2 should be an uplifting one for Tedford if none of his verbal commits proves fickle and signs elsewhere.  Now that transfer student Zach Maynard has enrolled in school, Cal should have seven quarterbacks in camp when spring practice starts in, yep, the spring.
There's Maynard, Keenan Allen's half-brother, who was at Buffalo under former coach Turner Gill. He might be the best of an undistinguished bunch.  Already in school were Brock Mansion, Beau Sweeney, Austin Hinder, Allan Bridgford and Ryan Wertenberger. One of Tedford's 18 commitments was another quarterback, Kyle Boehm of Mitty High School in San Jose.  Surely, someone from this bunch can actually play the game. Or so one would hope.
Link to rest of article.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oakland Tribune: Cal Assistant Eric Kiesau Glad to be Back

Jonathan Okanes

When Eric Kiesau left Cal after the 2005 season, the choice was a family decision. His return to Berkeley last month was a football decision.   Kiesau, the Bears' wide receivers coach from 2002-05 before moving on to Colorado, was hired back by coach Jeff Tedford on New Year's Eve to be the team's passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach.
Kiesau said he originally left Cal because he had two young children and that the intense culture of Tedford's program wasn't the right fit for his family. Now that his children are older, Kiesau said those factors are no longer a concern and that he's excited to be back in Berkeley.  "My kids were so young that I wanted to be around them," Kiesau said. "It's six years later now, and they're older. They can jump on the bus for the drive to AT&T Park (where Cal will play its home games in 2011) or be around the office. I'm ready to help this offense and help this team win games."  Kiesau has two children -- 13-year-old daughter Tayler, and 7-year old-son Blake, who was born during Kiesau's first stint at Cal. Kiesau acknowledged that the demands on the coaching staff weren't as great under Colorado coach Dan Hawkins as they were under Tedford.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Douche Bags Caught on Tape

Contra Costa Times: Coaching changes continue for Cal football team

Cal's offseason coaching carousel continued Tuesday with the announcement that secondary coach Al Simmons is leaving to "pursue other professional opportunities" and the hiring of Ashley Ambrose as his replacement.   Simmons just completed his third season at Cal under coach Jeff Tedford. Simmons previously coached the cornerbacks in Berkeley from 1998-2000. He has coached at a handful of other major college programs and also served a stint with the 49ers.
Ambrose played in the NFL for 13 years before retiring in 2004. He spent the past three seasons on Colorado's coaching staff but was let go after head coach Dan Hawkins was fired.  The Bears have two new coaches since the end of last season and soon will have two more. Tedford still needs to hire offensive line and strength and conditioning coaches.Both new coaches come from Colorado. Last week, Tedford hired Eric Kiesau as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Kiesau, who previously coached at Cal from 2002-05, was Colorado's offensive coordinator the past two seasons.   Colorado also got a coach from Cal when offensive line coach Steve Marshall was hired by the Buffs.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Contra Costa Times: Eric Kiesau brought back to aid Cal's receiving corps

Jonathan Okanes
Cal coach Jeff Tedford went after a familiar face to try to give a boost to his wide receivers.
Tedford announced Friday he's hired Eric Kiesau as his wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator. Kiesau was the wide receivers coach during Tedford's first four years at Cal, from 2002-2005. Kiesau took the same position at Colorado in 2006 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2009.
Kiesau was part of Dan Hawkins' staff that was let go when Hawkins was fired in November.
"I feel fortunate to be able to return to a place that provided some of my fondest football memories," Kiesau said in a statement. "I am committed to helping Cal consistently remain one of the nation's top football programs on the field, in the classroom and in the community."
Kiesau replaces Kevin Daft, who was fired two weeks ago.
Tedford still has to find a replacement for offensive line coach Steve Marshall, who left Cal after the season to take the same position at Colorado. A replacement for strength and conditioning coach John Krasinski also must be found.
Kiesau coached such stars as Geoff McArthur and DeSean Jackson during his first tenure at Cal.
"We're excited to have Eric rejoin the Cal football family," Tedford said in a statement.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Vereen to Enter NFL Draft

AP: Cal running back Shane Vereen says he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.  Vereen announced his decision Saturday, saying the time was right for him to try the NFL. Vereen earned his degree in December but still had one year of eligibility remaining because he redshirted his freshman year.  In three seasons with the Golden Bears, Vereen ran for 2,834 yards and scored 35 touchdowns. He finishes his career in the top 10 in rushing touchdowns, rushing yards, all-purpose yards and scoring.  He ran for 1,167 yards and three touchdowns this season. He also caught 22 passes for 209 yards and three scores.  Cal finished 5-7 and did not make a bowl game.