BERKELEY -- Art Kaufman, whose University of Cincinnati defense was ranked ninth nationally last fall, has been hired by Cal to fix the worst defense in school history.
Kaufman, 55, replaces Andy Buh, who was demoted earlier this month after the Bears allowed nearly 46 points per game during their 1-11 season.
Cal coach Sonny Dykes made the announcement Wednesday via Twitter.
"Art has a tremendous amount of experience and an excellent track record in significant roles on the defensive side of the ball at the highest level of college football," Dykes said in a statement.
Kaufman has coached for 32 seasons, including 11 as a defensive coordinator on the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Other schools he has been a defensive coordinator at include North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas Tech.
He was nominated for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach, at both North Carolina in 2011 and Texas Tech in 2012.
But Kaufman was fired by Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville on Jan. 4, with Tuberville saying he wanted a greater emphasis on recruiting the Midwest.
"The defense played well," Tuberville told the Cincinnati Enquirer when Kaufman was let go. "This is more about recruiting."
During Cincinnati's 9-4 season in 2013, Kaufman's unit ranked ninth nationally in total defense (315.6 yards per game) and 16th in scoring defense (21.0).
"I'm thrilled to be joining the Cal football staff and believe that my coaching experience will help our defense improve quickly," Kaufman said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to building a strong defense that will make significant contributions to our success as a football team."
Dykes said he's watched Kaufman's career for years and added, "I feel confident that Art Kaufman is the right coach to lead our defense. The thing that stood out as we researched him is that all his former players that we talked to said the highlight of their career was playing for Art."
Kaufman inherits a Cal defensive unit that allowed an average of 45.9 points and 529.6 yards per game, both among the worst numbers in the nation.
Injuries ravaged the Cal defense, and the expected return to health of defensive end Brennan Scarlett, safety Avery Sebastian, defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil and cornerback Stefan McClure should benefit Kaufman's efforts.