Cal hires Pendergast as defensive coordinator
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—California hired Clancy Pendergast away from the Oakland Raiders on Friday to take over the recently vacated defensive coordinator position.
The Golden Bears were scrambling to fill the position after Bob Gregory left Wednesday to take an assistant’s job at Boise State.
Coach Jeff Tedford didn’t have look far for his replacement. Pendergast had joined the Raiders as a defensive assistant on Feb. 8, after serving as defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
“We are extremely pleased and excited to be able to hire a football coach with Clancy Pendergast’s experience and credentials,” Tedford said. “He has been a defensive coordinator on football’s biggest stage and will be a tremendous asset to Cal football.”
Pendergast spent the past 15 years in the NFL, including five years as defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. He helped Arizona make it to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season before leaving for Kansas City last year.
Pendergast’s defenses have excelled at creating turnovers. In his five years in Arizona, the Cardinals had 77 interceptions and 71 fumble recoveries, the eighth most turnovers in the league in that span.
“Hopefully, I can bring the ability to be a very good teacher of the game, give our players direction and put them in position to use their strengths along with their talent to make plays,” he said. “We want to play smart, tough and aggressive. Those will be the three keys.”
Gregory was an original member of Tedford’s staff, starting in the 2002 season. Tedford was upset to lose his defensive coordinator, but Gregory said he returned to Boise State for family reasons.
Tedford wanted to find a coach familiar with the 3-4 defense that Cal ran in recent years under Gregory. Pendergast ran the 3-4 defense last season in Kansas City.
Pendergast also worked as a defensive assistant for Cleveland, Dallas and the Houston Oilers in the NFL. Before coming to the NFL, Pendergast worked four years as a college assistant at Mississippi State, Southern California and Oklahoma.