Cal U Football search for new head coach is over


Jose Negron

New Cal U Head Football Coach Gary Dunn speaks to those in attendance at his press conference Friday afternoon

Danny Beeck, Cal Times Contributor

The California University of Pennsylvania Vulcan Football team finished off the 2015 season with an 8-3 record, with Coach Mike Kellar at the helm. In the months following the Vulcans impressive season, however, Kellar began looking elsewhere to take his coaching knowledge. As Kellar made the transition to yet another DII organization, Lenoir Rhine, California began their search for a new head football coach as well. As the list of potential coaches shrunk more and more, one name began to stand out greatly. The coach that stood out the most was Duquesne’s OC Gary Dunn.

Gary Dunn played for the Vulcans Football team and was a four-year starter at center, a position in which earned him all-conference honors. After leaving the team as a Graduate Assistant, he took on a position at Morehead State where he stayed for 14 of his almost 20 years coaching. Dunn took his knowledge to the D1 level then, landing the job at Duquesne as their OC.

  Dunn led the Dukes to an 8-4 record this past season and his team led the Northeast Conference with the top-ranked offense. Duquesne led the league with 30.7 points per game, 416.5 yards of total offense and 171.8 rushing yards. His high tempo style of play will come in much needed at California, as the Vulcans finished 5th in the conference this past season.

California will be gaining a few more players this season after recovering from injury, most of which will aid on the offensive side of the ball. Solid contributors to the rushing game in John Franklin III and Jimmy Wheeler will look to produce at a level to match last year’s intensity. The biggest question on the offensive side of the ball is, who will step up at quarterback. Michael Keir, the sophomore quarterback looks to be the best choice for the role but it’s up to Gary Dunn and the play style he chooses to go with.

California ranked in the top 10 in the PSAC in points per game, however their total is 3 points more than the Dukes led by Gary Dunn. In the past, their game style was offensively oriented, although the 2015 season was saved by their defense. The defense came in clutch for two key games and with a new coach in Gary Dunn, their defense might have a few more breaks, allowing the offense to stay on the field even more.

The Vulcans football team is looking forward to their new coach and in the new coach’s introductory press conference held in the student center on January 29th, he touched on recruitment, balance of his play calls and even improving commitment by the players on the team. One of the biggest concerns of his coaching styles were the fact that the passing numbers greatly exceeded the rushing totals for the year. Now that a few new players on the rushing attack will be added into the mix, the numbers are expected to tip back around equal and that will force the defense to be put into unique circumstances when it comes to defending.

The coaching change may have had a big impact on the team, coming off an 8-4 season, but it will definitely bring the team together closer and put everyone in a situation where they have to play their best each and every week. Look for a few more players to step on the scene and make a name for themselves.