California head football coach Sonny Dykes announced on Friday afternoon that he had added two new coaches to his staff in Berkeley: defensive line coach Barry Sacks and defensive backs coach Randy Stewart.
Sacks has spent the last 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Nevada.
“Barry has been one of the top defensive coaches in the country for a long time,” 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.”
Contract terms are to be determined and will be in compliance with UC policy.
“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.”
For two seasons, Sacks served under Buh while the latter was the defensive coordinator for the Wolf Pack.
“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.”
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.
Stewart 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.”
Stewart spent five seasons at Cal as defensive backs coach, with his last two seasons spent also serving as recruiting coordinator.
“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. 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).