Jake Spavital, Chip Kelly Favored to Become Next Cal Head Coach

Former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly and Golden Bears interim head coach Jake Spavital are the favorites to replace Sonny Dykes at Cal.


Over the weekend, the University of California -- Berkeley, commonly known as Cal, fired head coach Sonny Dykes.

Since then, the school has quickly ramped up its search for a lead man.

Cal went 19-30 under Dykes, but had an 8-4 regular season in 2015 and won the Armed Forces Bowl over Air Force. The building blocks for a successful program are in place.

BookMaker.eu has released odds on Cal's next head coach. Here are the top candidates along with their odds.

JAKE SPAVITAL: +150 (bet $100 to win $150)

Spavital, Cal's interim head coach, should have even better odds than +150. Cal interviewed him Tuesday and he was formerly the quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M, where he mentored Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.

CHIP KELLY: +250 (bet $100 to win $250)

Ever since Kelly was fired as San Francisco 49ers head coach, his name has popped up in college searches. Kelly compiled an amazing 44-5 record as Oregon's top dog and, even though his NFL reign was not a success, he should still be considered a front-runner for any college opening.

JUSTIN WILCOX: +300 (bet $100 to win $300)

Wilcox, Wisconsin's defensive coordinator, has already interviewed with Cal. He has spent much of his coaching tenure out West, including stints with Cal, USC, and Boise State. Wisconsin was fourth in the country in scoring defense (15.57 ppg) and seventh in yards (301.36 ypg).

According to SFGate, "There's belief that he would bring in top recruiter and former Cal defensive lineman and assistant coach Tosh Lupoi as defensive coordinator." He's a value at +300.

TEE MARTIN: +750 (bet $100 to win $750)

A former national champion at Tennessee, Martin has coached at USC since 2012; he's now the Trojans' offensive coordinator. USC ranked 20th nationally in yards per game (477), but just 36th in points (34.4). He's never been a college head coach.

JONATHAN SMITH: +1250 (bet $100 to win $1250)

Another candidate with Pac-12 ties, Smith is the offensive coordinator at Washington, where he's worked with Heisman candidate Jake Browning. Smith has spent his entire coaching career out West and played quarterback at Oregon State.

LES MILES: +2000 (bet $100 to win $2000)

LSU fired Miles in September and he has not taken a coaching position since. He was 141-55 at LSU and guided the Tigers to a national championship in 2007. Going to Cal would keep him in a Power 5 conference, where openings are few and far between right now.

RON RIVERA: +2500 (bet $100 to win $2500)

Rivera is the head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. One season removed from a Super Bowl run, the Panthers sputtered mightily this season (6-10). Rivera was an All-American linebacker at Cal and still holds many records at his alma mater. He has close ties to the university.

From BookMaker.eu: Head coach of the California Golden Bears in Week 1 of the 2017 regular season:

  • Jake Spavital +150
  • Chip Kelly +250
  • Justin Wilcox +300
  • Tee Martin +750
  • Jonathan Smith +1250
  • Les Miles +2000
  • Ron Rivera +2500
  • FIELD -110