Likens served as an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach for Dykes at Louisiana Tech the last three seasons, including in 2012 when the Bulldogs posted a 9-3 record and led the nation in scoring offense by averaging 51.50 points per game. Likens coached 2012 second-team AP All-American and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Quinton Patton, who was a major contributor to the team's prolific scoring offense.
"I have known Rob Likens and admired his coaching abilities for a long time," Dykes said. "When I had the opportunity to hire him three years ago at Louisiana Tech I jumped at the chance, and he was everything that I believed he would be and more. He has great knowledge of the offense we will install at Cal, and I'm ecstatic that he's decided to join our staff."
"I really enjoy working with coach Dykes," Likens said. "I can't wait until everybody around here gets to meet him. We're very like-minded offensively, but we're also like-minded on how to treat people and lead student-athletes."
"There's not a doubt in my mind that coach Dykes is going to be ultra-successful at Cal because he does it the right way," Likens continued. "He makes you want to be not only a better player and a better student, but also a better person. One of the reasons I got into football was the impact you can have on young men. It's fantastic to get to work for a guy who understands the importance of that."
In addition to leading the country in scoring offense in 2012, Tech was among national leaders in total offense (2nd, 577.92 yards per game) and passing offense (4th, 350.75 ypg) with a unit that scored more than 40 points in 11 of 12 games and over 50 points on eight occasions. Tech's high-powered offense also committed only 13 turnovers in 2012 to tie for the 10th lowest total in the country, matching its tied for 10th ranking with a +1.08 turnover margin.
Likens directed one of the most potent wide receiver corps in the country in 2012 led by Patton, who paced the Western Athletic Conference in both per-game receiving yards (116.00 ypg) and receptions (8.67 rpg), while ranking fourth in the nation in both categories while compiling totals of 104 catches and 1,392 receiving yards. Patton was also tied fifth in the nation among wide receivers with 13 touchdowns receptions. Overall, Tech's receivers recorded 4,209 receiving yards and had more receiving yards than 28 FBS teams had yards of total offense.
Likens directed a group of 2011 receivers that registered 3,229 receiving yards with 21 touchdown catches during a campaign that included a stretch of seven consecutive wins and a WAC championship. Patton, a 2011 Biletnikoff Award Watch List honoree, finished the year with 1,202 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in becoming the first Bulldog receiver to reach 1,000 yards receiving since 2000.
In his first year at Tech in 2010, Likens oversaw a receiving corps that helped the Bulldogs improve from a No. 91 national ranking in passing offense in 2009 to No. 62 in 2010 despite a revolving door at quarterback through the first third of the season.
Prior to his three-year stint at Louisiana Tech, Likens served for four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Central Connecticut State (2006-09) and led the Blue Devils to more wins than in any other four-year period in school history.
CCSU had winning records during each of Likens' four seasons, capped off with a 9-3 mark in 2009, as he coached the ground game to a top-10 national ranking among FCS schools each year. The CCSU rushing offense was tops among FCS schools in 2006. The Blue Devils averaged 239.18 yards per game on the ground in 2008 to rank seventh in the FCS when the team also paced the NEC in scoring offense, averaging 30.0 points per game.
Under Likens' guidance, the Blue Devils led the conference in scoring offense two times, had three undefeated home records and averaged just under 30 points per game in four seasons (29.1). Likens coached a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, Walter Payton Award finalists, All-America running backs and NEC Offensive Players of the Year in Justise Hairston and James Mallory. Hairston, who set the school's single-season record and was the nation's leading FCS rusher with 1,847 yards in 2006, earned AP All-America, AFCA All-America, Sports Network Mid-Major All-America and NEC Offensive Player of the Year honors that season. He finished eighth in the final Walter Payton Award balloting, played in the Hula Bowl and Texas vs. the Nation Game, and was a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Mallory rushed for 1,520 yards and earned second-team All-NEC honors in 2008, becoming the second player in school history to crack the 1,500 mark in rushing.
In 2007, CCSU led the Northeast Conference in both per-game total offense (387.7 ypg) and rushing offense (257.6 ypg), ranking 10th nationally in the latter.
The Blue Devil offense set numerous school records in 2006, including total yards (4,271) and rushing yards (3,150) in a single season. CCSU led the nation in rushing yards per game (284.9 ypg) and finished 10th in total offense (386.8 ypg). As a team, CCSU set a new school mark with 42 rushing touchdowns and scored a school-record 51 touchdowns in 11 games.
In all, CCSU's offense recorded eight team records and six individual and game records under Likens. He coached four-first team All-NEC selections, four second-team All-NEC selections and five NEC Offensive Player of the Week honorees, giving him 13 all-conference picks in his four seasons.
Prior to joining Central Connecticut State, Likens spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State (2004-05), where he also worked specifically with the team's quarterbacks and wide receivers. He also spent six campaigns at both Temple (1998-2003) as the wide receivers coach and North Alabama (1992-97), where he worked with the running backs for the first season of his tenure and the wide receivers for his final five. At North Alabama, he helped the Lions become the first program in NCAA scholarship football to win three consecutive playoff championships, a feat that has only since been replicated by Appalachian State (2005-07).
Likens played collegiate football as a wide receiver at Mississippi State, earning his bachelor's degree in 1990. He earned his master's degree from North Alabama in 1995.
Likens and his wife, Soni, have a three-year old son, Nicolas Cutter.
Rob Likens' Collegiate Coaching Career
1992 North Alabama Running Backs
1993 North Alabama Wide Receivers
1994 North Alabama Wide Receivers
1995 North Alabama Wide Receivers
1996 North Alabama Wide Receivers
1997 North Alabama Wide Receivers
1998 Temple Wide Receivers
1999 Temple Wide Receivers
2000 Temple Wide Receivers
2001 Temple Wide Receivers
2002 Temple Wide Receivers
2003 Temple Wide Receivers
2004 SE Missouri St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers
2005 SE Missouri St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers
2006 Central Connecticut St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2007 Central Connecticut St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2008 Central Connecticut St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2009 Central Connecticut St. Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2010 Louisiana Tech Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers
2011 Louisiana Tech Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers
2012 Louisiana Tech Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers