BERKELEY -- New Cal football coach Sonny Dykes' holiday gift to the Golden Bears' fan base: open practices.

"Open the gate. Come on in," Dykes said, when asked about his policy on opening practice to the public. "We don't have any secrets."

With rare exception, practices in recent years under former coach Jeff Tedford have been closed to media and fans. Dykes said it won't be that way going forward.

"I don't know why you wouldn't want (fans) there," he said. "This is not my program. This is Cal's program. They should be engaged and they should be able to check it out.

"It's their program."

During an informal Q&A session with about a half-dozen local reporters, Dykes said spring practice will run from late February through late March, finishing before spring break begins on March 23. He expects to conduct 3 p.m. workouts, and they will be accessible to fans.

The Bears likely will hold afternoon workouts in-season, except on Mondays, when they will go at 7 p.m. Sunday will be an off day for players.

Dykes formally announced the hiring of Andy Buh as his defensive coordinator, several days after the news became public. Buh (pronounced Boo) will arrive in Berkeley within a couple days after the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, where he will coach Wisconsin's linebackers against Stanford.

Because Dykes is an offensive coach, he said Buh's hiring was his most important one. "I was just incredibly comfortable with him," Dykes said. "He fits my personality. He's intense and positive. It's hard to find positive defensive guys. They're usually pessimistic."

Dykes said he hopes to have his entire staff hired possibly by the end of this week, although the announcements will depend on when Cal's human resources department completes the paperwork.

Randy Stewart reportedly will coach defensive backs, and Buh will supervise linebackers. Still to be named are assistants for offensive line, defensive line and one other defensive coach.

On other topics:

  • Five players are expected to enroll for the spring semester, including defensive ends Sione Sina of College of San Mateo and Kyle Kragen of Diablo Valley, who signed letters of intent on Wednesday. High school prospects quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Dannon Cavill and kicker Matt Anderson also plan to arrive in time to participate in spring practice.

  • Dykes said he expects to announce between 25-30 new players on the Feb. 6 signing date. He confirmed that none of Cal's existing oral commitments have changed their mind, but acknowledged keeping all of them will be difficult.

    Areas of need to improve depth, he said, are running back, wide receiver and on both lines.

  • A big surprise for Dykes while watching tapes of four games: He believes the offensive line is better than advertised. But he said the Bears probably need six more players in those positions.

  • Asked if he has any idea who will be his starting quarterback, Dykes said, "I don't have a clue." In a perfect world, he'd like to have that resolved two weeks into spring ball, but he doesn't expect that to happen. Senior-to-be Allan Bridgford and redshirt freshman Zach Kline are considered the front-runners.

  • The depth chart will be reworked daily during spring and fall camp, based on performance. As players are introduced to the new offensive system, Dykes said, "Athleticism has little to do with how quickly they play. It's how quickly they learn."

  • Disclosing injury updates, a topic of much controversy in the Pac-12 last season, is a nonissue with Dykes. "I'll tell you everything I know about injuries that won't get me sued," he said. "I don't even look at the other team's injury report."

  • Dykes said he prefers a nonconference schedule that allows the team to build momentum toward the Pac-12 slate. Asked about the challenging 2013 schedule, with Big Ten foes Northwestern and Ohio State in Weeks 1 and 3, he said, "I couldn't be in favor of that."

  • Dykes and wife Kate, who have two young daughters, have made an offer on a home in Berkeley. Dykes said he wants to live in the community where he works and believes it's important to be seen around town.

    For more on Cal sports, follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.