BERKELEY, Calif. – New California head coach Sonny Dykes continues to fill out his offensive staff with familiar faces, announcing the hiring running backs coach Pierre Ingram and special teams coordinator/inside receivers coach Mark Tommerdahl from Louisiana Tech on Friday afternoon.
In his three years with the Bulldogs, Ingram showed a knack for getting production from unlikely places, including a true freshman walk-on who rushed for 650 yards in 2011 and Freshman All-American Kenneth Dixon this past season. Dixon broke Marshall Faulk’s record for rushing touchdowns by a freshman with 27, while his 28 total touchdowns were most in the nation.
LA Tech averaged more than 150 rushing yards per game each season under Ingram, including 227 per game for the nation’s leading scoring offense this past season.
Ingram, who played wide receiver at Middle Tennessee, had never coaches running backs before Dykes hired him in 2010, working with wide receivers and tight ends during stops at Villanova, Texas A&M Commerce, and Cortland State.
"Pierre Ingram is one of the best young coaches in the nation," Dykes said in a statement. "He is a talented person with a terrific future ahead of him and will be a tremendous asset to our football program.
Tommerdahl solidified his status as one of the nation’s best special teams coaches just over a week ago when LA Tech redshirt senior Ryan Allen won the Ray Guy Award, presented annually to the top punter in college football, becoming the only player to win the award in consecutive seasons. Allen led the nation in punting, averaging 48.04 yards per punt, while LA Tech led the nation in net punting this past season.
"His track record in developing top specialists and producing some of the strongest special teams play in the nation is impeccable,” Dykes said of Tommerdahl in a press release.
After nearly 20 years at Wyoming, Minnesota, New Mexico, TCU, Alabama, Texas A&M, Louisiana Monroe, and LA Tech, Tommerdahl has a strong track record of working with tight ends and will help integrate Cal’s depth at the position into Dykes’ spread offense.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.