Pac-12: Wes Chandler

Pac-12 lunch links

January, 24, 2012
Happy Tuesday.

Cal hires Howard to replace Lupoi

January, 22, 2012
California's football staff is back to full strength after the school announced the hiring of Todd Howard to coach the Bears' defensive line, thereby replacing Tosh Lupoi, who left for Washington.

Coach Jeff Tedford previously hired former NFL All-Pro Wes Chandler to replace receivers coach Eric Kiesau, who became Washington's offensive coordinator.

Here's the news release from Cal:
Todd Howard has agreed to become the defensive line coach at California, Golden Bear head coach Jeff Tedford announced Saturday. Howard has a combined 20 years of coaching experience at the NFL and collegiate levels.

“I’m excited to have Todd Howard as our defensive line coach,” Tedford said. “He has a tremendous amount of experience as both a coach and player at the NFL and collegiate level. We’ve had an opportunity to play against several of the teams he has coached in the past, and I’ve always been impressed by the way his defensive line has played. He is also consistent with what we stand for at Cal and will be an excellent mentor to our student-athletes athletically, academically and socially.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for me to work with Jeff Tedford and the Cal football program,” Howard said. “Cal teams always play hard and are well coached, and I believe that my coaching experience and knowledge will be an asset to the program. I am familiar with this conference and coaching the defensive line at this level.”

Howard spent the 2011 campaign as the defensive line coach at Washington State, where he tutored second-team All-Pac-12 selection Travis Long on a vastly improved Cougar team.

Prior to arriving in Pullman, Howard was at UCLA as the defensive line coach and associate head coach on defense with the Bruins going to bowls three of the first four years of his tenure. He coached three first-team All-Americans in Bruce Davis, Justin Hickman and Brian Price, the latter earning 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors and now a two-year NFL veteran with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Davis was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the NFL Draft and most recently played for the Oakland Raiders in 2011. After originally signing as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins in 2007, Hickman has made a name for himself in the Canadian Football League by recording 27.0 sacks over the last three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hickman posted 13.0 sacks in 2011 to earn CFL All-Star honors for the first time.

In 2010, Howard mentored All-Pac-10 freshmen honorees Cassius Marsh and Owamagbe Odighizuwa in his final season with the Bruins in 2010. Price recorded 23.5 tackles for loss in 2009, the highest total ever by a Bruin lineman. In addition, defensive ends Korey Bosworth and Datone Jones combined for 25.0 tackles for loss. In 2008, Price earned firstteam AllPac10 and Sophomore AllAmerica honors. He ranked seventh in the Pac10 with 14.0 tackles for loss. Brigham Harwell was a secondteam AllPac10 pick and Bosworth ranked seventh in the Pac10 in sacks (7.5). In 2007, UCLA ranked 14th in the nation in rush defense (109.2 ypg) and 29th in total defense (343.23 ypg). In addition, the 2007 defense ranked second nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.77 tflpg) and tied for 15th in sacks per game (3.0 spg). Davis led the team with 12.0 sacks (T1st Pac-10) and 15.5 tackles for loss. Davis’ twoyear total of 24.5 sacks in 2006 and ’07 is second only to Dave Ball (27.5 in ’02,’03) for the mostever by a Bruin in backtoback seasons. In his first season at UCLA in 2006, the line showed marked improvement. The Bruins were ranked tied for ninth (tied) in the nation and led the Pac10 in rush defense (91.08 ypg) and 33rd nationally in total defense (304.83). Hickman and Davis tied for first in the conference and fourth in the nation with 12.5 quarterback sacks.

Howard served for three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-05 as the assistant defensive line coach. The Jaguars finished 12-4 in the regular season to earn a spot in the NFL Playoffs in his final season, with the defense leading the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (four) during his final season. The same squad ranked tied for third in the league with 47.0 quarterback sacks, sixth in total defense (290.9 ypg), seventh in passing defense (184.1 ypg) and 14th in rushing defense (106.8 ypg). Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud earned All-Pro honors and Pro Bowl selections in each of Howard’s three seasons in Jacksonville. John Henderson was an alternate 2005 Pro Bowl pick after playing in the game the previous season.

His other NFL coaching experience came as a defensive assistant for two campaigns (1998-99) with the St. Louis Rams, who won Super Bowl XXXIV in Howard's second season. In addition, he was a member of the NFL's minority coaching program with the Washington Redskins during the team’s 1997 training camp, helping on defense. He also performed a minority coaching internship with the San Diego Chargers in 2002.

Before his stints at UCLA and Washington State, Howard coached collegiately at Louisiana Tech (2000-02), Grinnell College in Iowa (1994-97) and his alma mater Texas A&M (1991-93), where he was a member of a staff that captured three Southwest Conference titles. The Aggies posted a 32-5 overall record and a 25-0 SWC mark with Howard on board, playing in the Cotton Bowl all three seasons. The 2001 team he coached at Louisiana Tech also took home the Western Athletic Conference crown and played in the Humanitarian Bowl. Howard was hired as the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Southwest Texas State in 2003 before leaving to join the Jaguars.

A third-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987, Howard played in the NFL for two seasons as an inside linebacker and on special teams. He also spent one season playing for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football in 1991 and was on the squad’s injured reserve throughout the 1992 season.

Howard is a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and received his master's degree in human resources from the same university in 1995. He was an all-conference and honorable mention All-America selection with the Aggies, starting at linebacker for three seasons (1984-86) on teams which won a pair of conference titles.

Howard has three children: Trey, David and Ava.

Lunch links: UCLA's recruiting surge

January, 20, 2012
Happy Friday.

Cal hires former All-Pro Wes Chandler

January, 19, 2012
It didn't take long for California to find a new receivers coach after Eric Kiesau bolted for Washington, as coach Jeff Tedford tapped Wes Chandler, who played 11 years in the NFL with four Pro Bowls to his credit.

In total, Chandler, 55, has spent 26 years in professional football, including stints as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings.

“Wes is a quality person who brings all of the things to the table that Cal stands for," Tedford said in a statement. "He’s a great football coach who is an outstanding technician. Just as importantly, he cares about the kids off the field and will be able to help them reach their full potential in all areas of their life. It’s a great day for our program, and we’re really happy to have him as part of our staff.”

Said Chandler in the statement: “I’m excited about this opportunity at Cal. It starts at the top and Coach Tedford and I share a lot of the same sentiments regarding what the game of football is all about. It’s more than just football, it’s also about the players and their well-being in the classroom and off the football field. It’s about teaching them basic fundamentals so they will be able to maximize their potential when they walk on the field, making them students of the game. We share that goal so it was a perfect marriage for me.”

Tedford still needs to replace defensive line coach and recruiting ace Tosh Lupoi, who also left for Washington.

Chandler has been out of coaching since a 2009 stint with the New York Sentinels of the United Football League. His last college job was at Central Florida from 1994-95.

The rest of the Cal release:
Chandler was the wide receivers coach with the Cleveland Browns for two seasons from 2007-08. In his first campaign, the Browns posted a six-game turnaround and recorded a 10-6 record but failed to make the playoffs, losing a head-to-head tiebreaker with AFC North champion Pittsburgh.

During his one season in Minnesota in 2005, the Vikings finished 9-7 and were second in the [NFC] North.

He spent three campaigns in Dallas from 2000-02.

Chandler’s first coaching position in the professional ranks was a two-year tenure as the offensive coordinator with the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football (1991-92).

With the WLAF morphing into NFL Europe, Chandler coached for two seasons at Central Florida (1993-94) before NFL Europe began in the spring of 1995. Chandler rejoined the league overseas and was the offensive coordinator for five seasons with the Rhein Fire, before one year as the offensive coordinator with the Frankfurt Galaxy and one as the head coach of the Berlin Thunder.

Chandler’s coaching career began with three seasons (1988-90) at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., serving the first campaign as the offensive coordinator and his final two years as head coach and athletic director.

Chandler has also spent time running personal businesses and been a staff member for Football University, a premier educational camp for an elite class of football players.

In 11 seasons as an NFL player with the New Orleans Saints (1978-81), San Diego Chargers (1981-87) and San Francisco 49ers (1988), he registered 559 receptions for 8,966 yards and 56 touchdowns. Chandler was named to four Pro Bowl teams, once selected an All-Pro, and inducted into the Chargers’ Hall of Fame in 2001.

Chandler was the third overall pick out of Florida in the 1978 NFL Draft by New Orleans and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his second season in the league with 65 receptions, 1,069 yards receiving and six touchdown catches. After being traded to San Diego during the 1981 season, Chandler would come back the following year and lead the NFL in receiving yards (1,032) and receiving touchdowns (9) during the strike-shortened 1982 campaign for an NFL record 129.0 yards receiving per game. He would have one more 1,000-yard receiving season in 1985 with the Chargers when he posted career-high totals of 67 catches and 1,199 yards receiving. Chandler retired as a professional player after one season with the 49ers in 1988.

Chandler caught 92 passes for 1,963 yards and 22 touchdowns collegiately in a run-oriented offense Florida, while adding another six scores on rushes and kick returns. Chandler earned All-America honors in both 1976 and ‘77.



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