Photo by Cal Athletics

Burl Toler III Named Running Backs Coach

January 8, 2018
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BERKELEY – Cal head coach Justin Wilcox announced Monday that Burl Toler III has agreed to return to his alma mater to become the Golden Bears' running backs coach. Toler was a four-year letterwinner at Cal and began his coaching career with three seasons on the school's football staff following his professional playing career.

"Burl is an excellent addition to our staff who has been very successful as a football coach and recruiter early in his career," Wilcox said. "I've known Burl since he played on Cal teams when I was an assistant coach in Berkeley, and I think the world of Burl and his family. As an alum and with his family's history at Cal, he has a deep understanding of and a strong connection to the university that will prove important. We're looking forward to having him rejoin our Cal family."

"It's amazing to be back home at Cal," Toler said. "I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity coach Wilcox has given me to join his tremendous staff, and I'm excited to get to work coaching and recruiting elite student-athletes at Cal. I'm also thankful for the experience of working with the coaches and players at Fresno State and UC Davis. Those experiences have prepared me for this unbelievable opportunity at my alma mater."

Toler played wide receiver at Cal from 2001-04, helping the Bears to an Insight Bowl victory and a Holiday Bowl appearance in his final two seasons. He compiled career totals of 69 receptions for 873 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Toler was Cal's second-leading receiver as a 2003 junior with 48 catches for 609 yards receiving to go along with three scoring grabs. He completed his junior campaign by hauling in a team-high six passes for 84 yards in a 52-49 victory over Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl.

Toler spent the 2017 season as the wide receivers coach at UC Davis, and one of his charges, Keelan Doss, led all FCS and FBS schools in receptions (115), per-game receptions (10.5 rpg) and receiving yards (136.3 ypg), while his 1,499 total yards receiving led all FCS receivers. Doss earned consensus first-team All-America and Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors while being a finalist for the Walter Payton Award given annually to the nation's top FCS player. Wide receiver Marcus Cummins also earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors under Toler's tutelage in 2017.

In 2016, Toler served as wide receivers coach at Fresno State, helping three wideouts to at least 45 catches and 630 yards receiving each, with KeeSean Johnson ranking third in the Mountain West Conference with 5.5 receptions per game.
Toler held several different roles during three seasons at Cal from 2013-15. He was the special teams quality control assistant all three seasons, while also working with the wide receivers in 2014 and the running backs in 2015 when Cal won the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

Toler graduated from Cal in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in social welfare and a concentration in sociology. Following his collegiate playing career, he spent time in the NFL on the rosters of the Oakland Raiders (2006) and Washington Redskins (2007-08). He also played in NFL Europe (Cologne), the Italian Football League (Bologna), the Canadian Football League (Hamilton) and Arena League (San Jose, Orlando, San Antonio) before retiring as a player in 2013.

Toler's family has a deep connection to Cal and the Bay Area. His father, Burl Toler Jr., was a four-year letterwinner as a linebacker for the Bears from 1974-77 and a team captain as a senior. His mother, Susan, is a Cal graduate, as are his brothers Cameron and sisters, Pita and Lauriena. Cameron, was a member of the Cal football program from 2004-07, while Pita and Lauriena were on\ the Cal track & field team. Pita currently works as a member of the Cal Athletic Development staff. In addition, his grandfather, the late Burl Toler Sr., played on the legendary 1951 USF team and later became the first African-American official in the NFL before spending 25 seasons in the role from 1965-89.

Toler and his wife, Drea, are the parents of daughter, Lale, and son, Burl IV.

Offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, who was also the team's running backs coach in 2017, will now manage tight ends while Charlie Ragle will focus on his role as special team coordinator after also overseeing the tight ends last season.
 
BURL TOLER COACHING HISTORY
Season: Team – Position (Postseason)
2013: California – Quality Control, Special Teams
2014: California – Quality Control, Special Teams/Wide Receivers
2015: California – Quality Control, Special Teams/Running Backs (Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl)
2016: Fresno State – Wide Receivers
2017: UC Davis – Wide Receivers

Burl Toler III Named Running Backs Coach

Cave Bear
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It's nice to see Burl Toler III return to Cal, but should his lack of experience coaching RBs be a concern?
wifeisafurd
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Cave Bear said:

It's nice to see Burl Toler III return to Cal, but should his lack of experience coaching RBs be a concern?
He does have some experience with RBs and he gets lots of help from Baldwin who did an excellent job with RBs last year. I assume Toler was considered due to his recruiting potential and deep Bay Area ties.
71Bear
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Cave Bear said:

It's nice to see Burl Toler III return to Cal, but should his lack of experience coaching RBs be a concern?
Nope.

I like the idea of the RB's getting a coach who can devote his time/energy to working exclusively with them.
59bear
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I know nothing of his coaching chops but I always like to see Old Blues come home to coach the next generation. The Toler pedigree has some cachet in the Bay area going all the way back to grandpa Burl who starred on the great Ollie Matson USF teams circa 1950.
I Bear
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This is a damn good hire! Congratulations BTIII!
Beardog26
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I don't think there should be much concern. I saw Burl on the sidelines of a high school game during the playoffs and had a good chat with him. He was a good receiver at Cal, has worked his way up from GA at Cal and coaching stops at Fresno St and UC Davis, is hard working, and I suspect will be a good recruiter.

Happy to welcome back to the Cal family. He never fully left, but now he's all-in. Go Bears!!
grumpybear
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Great...
Golden One
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Solid hire! Glad to see Burl back on the Cal sideline. He should be a great recruiter.
TomBear
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Emotionally I LOVE this move. The Toler family and their links to Cal are something to hold very proudly. Burl was a great player and his father a picture of success. He's seen a lot with his resume filled with various coaching and playing experience. I admit to a small amount of concern about his experience exclusively with running backs. But that concern is way overshadowed by the other things I noted, and I can't wait to see how he does with recruiting!
okaydo
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Is he related to Burl Toler I?
dbush518
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Staff
I think it is a great hire....I know his father and knew his grandfather. Both really good men, high character, smart, successful and honest.
I have met BT III only once, but if he is anything like the rest of his family, Cal is once again a better place. Whatever he doesn't know about coaching running backs he will learn, and recruits will listen to him.
heartofthebear
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Great hire
But if Baldwin leaves what then?
Shortest job in history?
Just curious?
I Bear
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Yes, BT III is the grandson!
Uthaithani
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Cave Bear said:

It's nice to see Burl Toler III return to Cal, but should his lack of experience coaching RBs be a concern?
I was thinking that, too, but this hire seems to be more about getting a good, young coach with strong recruiting skills in the fold than about filling a need as far as RB coaching goes. RB was an area of strength last season and Baldwin, who coached RBs in 2017, is there to mentor Toler. The team isn't losing any coaching experience, but it'll free up Baldwin's resources to focus more purely on the OC role.
Uthaithani
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heartofthebear said:

Great hire
But if Baldwin leaves what then?
Shortest job in history?
Just curious?
One season wouldn't be the shortest job in history. I'm hearing zero scuttlebut about Baldwin leaving now, but I guess anything can happen.
chalcidbear
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So if his son has a son, he may become Burl Toler V.

Perhaps their names will eventually outlast the Henry Tudor dynasty! Only IV more to tie and V to win!
okaydo
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I Bear said:

Yes, BT III is the grandson!

I was joking.
TeamBoomtho
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Excited about this hire. I know some folks may have wanted someone with more experience or position fit, but BT will prove all the naysayers wrong. He'll instantly make his presence known with recruiting (I see him as an emerging all star recruiter). Better still, I like the message this sends from Wilcox. It's all about Family, bringing folks back to Cal that have genuine love for the program, familiarity with the area, and an understanding of the standards. bravo all around.
Yogi Bear
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heartofthebear said:

Great hire
But if Baldwin leaves what then?
Shortest job in history?
Just curious?
If Baldwin leaves, all the assistants will go with them and Wilcox will leave to be his LB coach
calumnus
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Love this hire--BT3 will be a GREAT recruiter for Cal!
B.A. Bearacus
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First of all, this is another reminder that it's fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked up that Ron Gould is RB coach in Palo Alto.

On another note, Ron Gould was a defensive back in college, so people can learn to be the best coach in all the land of a different position than they were in their playing days.
Yogi Bear
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B.A. Bearacus said:

First of all, this is another reminder that it's fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked up that Ron Gould is RB coach in Palo Alto.
He sure made a hell of a player out of Isi Sofele.

Let's see how he does next year with Scarlett and no Love.
Yogi Bear
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If Baldwin got the Arizona job and took Edwards with him, would Toler switch to WR's?
joe amos yaks
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Most excellent! Welcome Coach T3.
JSC 76
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I have BT III's glove.

After the legendary 2003 3OT win over USC, jubilant Cal players were on the locker room balcony celebrating with the crowd below. BT threw one of his gloves; I caught it.

FrankBear21
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Yogi Bear said:

If Baldwin got the Arizona job and took Edwards with him, would Toler switch to WR's?


Yeah I think there is something to this. If not this year, then whenever he does decide to move on.
Oski87
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Love the Toler family - I knew his grandfather and know his family, but do not personally know him. I think he will be a great recruiter.

I hope, specifically, that this means we will be going hard after the ODowd recruits, where his family is entrenched. Also, Austin Jones, the 4 star running back there, who is a huge difference maker. He is an East Bay kid and a Cal guy and that is huge. He will probably not be the very best RB coach year 1. But I am sure that will come quickly - he is in learning mode in his career and the more important part is to get good RBs. I am sure he is looking for some mentoring there from Baldwin. But he has been around a lot of different football environments, from a quality high school coaching to Cal to the NFL, CFL, Europe, etc besides his coaching. I am sure he has picked a ton through his journey.

Also, I like Pita, who is my bear backers rep. The Tolers are great people.

calumnus
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A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
okaydo
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Yogi Bear
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calumnus said:

A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
Maybe Toler wanted to work for a good coach.
calumnus
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Yogi Bear said:

calumnus said:

A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
Maybe Toler wanted to work for a good coach.


Is Dan Hawkins still considered a good coach? If so, interesting he is at UC Davis (because it is his alma mater?). Tedford was certainly a good coach when BT3 played for him. Just kind of strange. Maybe he took the Davis job before Tedford was named at FSU?
Cal Strong!
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Yogi Bear said:

calumnus said:

A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
Maybe Toler wanted to work for a good coach.
Tedford fired Toler.

Toler's WR unit weak at Fresno. But whole team weak. Tedford strong to fire entire staff, including his former coaches and one former player (Toler). Toler also weak at recruiting. But that probably have a lot to do with team being weak.

Cal Strong love Toler. But Toler no show he good coach yet . . . Toler's only D-1 experience weak.

Hopefully Toler learn to be strong like Cal and less like WR coach of weak 1-11 team.
StillNoStanfurdium
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Yogi Bear said:

calumnus said:

A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
Maybe Toler wanted to work for a good coach.
A little harsh given Fresno State's record this year compared to the record pre-Tedford while Toler was coaching.
ayetee11
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Cal Strong! said:

Yogi Bear said:

calumnus said:

A little strange that when Tedford got the FSU job he didn't retain him as WR coach.
Maybe Toler wanted to work for a good coach.
Tedford fired Toler.

Toler's WR unit weak at Fresno. But whole team weak. Tedford strong to fire entire staff, including his former coaches and one former player (Toler). Toler also weak at recruiting. But that probably have a lot to do with team being weak.

Cal Strong love Toler. But Toler no show he good coach yet . . . Toler's only D-1 experience weak.

Hopefully Toler learn to be strong like Cal and less like WR coach of weak 1-11 team.

This act is cute
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