Sonny Dykes has been hired as the new head football coach at Louisiana Tech.
The Arizona Wildcats' former offensive coordinator replaces Derek Dooley, who left Louisiana Tech last week to become the head coach at Tennessee.
Dooley made $400,000 last year as the Bulldogs' head coach and athletic director; Dykes made $278,145 annually at the UA and has never been a head coach.
"It's something… I'v worked my entire life to get to this point. im very fortunate to be here," Dykes said at a news conference in Ruston, La. this afternoon. "People are what make successful programs. It's not about buildings. It's not about facilities. It's about people. I really believe the right people are here to get this program to the right level."
Dykes, 40, is the first UA assistant to leave for a Div. I head coaching job since 2000, when Jeff Woodruff was hired to head to the Eastern Michigan program. Defensive coordinator Rich Ellerson left a year later for Div. II Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Most recently, Dykes developed Michigan State transfer Nick Foles into a 2,400-yard passer.
Dykes promised to institute a spread offense similar to what he ran at Arizona and a fast, attacking defense.
Dykes' first priority, however, is recruiting. He has two weeks to solidify commitments from Louisiana Tech's 23 recruits, and possibly add a few more players.
Dykes said he will start shaping his staff in the next few days.
Dykes could take members of Arizona's staff with him. Inside receivers coach Garret Chachere is a New Orleans native who has coached Tulane, Louisiana-Monroe and Nicholls State. Outside receivers coach David Nichol is Dykes' protege and one of his closest friends.
Dykes' departure means Arizona will open the 2010 season with two new coordinators. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops now holds that position at Florida State. He was replaced by former Colorado assistant Greg Brown, who will share coordinator duties with Tim Kish starting this fall.
The UA is expected to comment later today.