University of California at Berkeley football coach Sonny Dykes was fired, director of athletics Mike Williams said Sunday.
Williams said in a statement:
“Primarily, we want what’s best for our student-athletes and have a head coach in place who is fully committed to our program and our university.”
With Dykes as coach, the football team won 19 games and lost 30 in four years. Dykes’ teams won 10 conference games and lost 26 in those four seasons.
Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will serve as interim coach.
University officials said Dykes built up the program despite his overall record.
The team improved during Dykes career from 1-11 in 2013 to 5-7 in 2014 and 8-5 in 2015. In 2015, Dykes also took the team to the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force and won.
Also under Dykes, quarterback Jared Goff was chosen as the No. 1 pick overall in the 2016 NFL draft and the football program’s Academic Progress Rate improved. A low APR can stop a team from participating in post-season games, according to the NCAA.
“Coach Dykes clearly built up our program – both on the field and in the classroom – and he leaves Cal in a stronger position than when he arrived.”
University officials extended Dykes contract after the 2015 season’s bowl win, but at the end of this season Williams felt the program needed to change direction.
Williams said officials made the change as they were thinking about the “long-term financial sustainability” of the athletic department.
Williams said investing in football is critical:
“We want to win championships. The success of our football program is vital to both our department and our university community, and its influence can be felt well beyond Berkeley.”