Multiple reports state that Cal is in negotiations with Wisconsin defensive coordinator and former Golden Bears assistant Justin Wilcox for the head coaching job.
Cal appears on the verge of hiring a familiar face to be its next head football coach.
Multiple reports state that Wisconsin defensive coordinator and former Golden Bears assistant Justin Wilcox is in negotiations to become the next head coach in Berkeley. He would replace Sonny Dykes, who abruptly was fired Sunday after going 19-30 in four seasons.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports was first on the news.
Wilcox coached linebackers at Cal from 2003-05 under Jeff Tedford before moving on to his first defensive coordinator job at Boise State in 2006, when current Washington coach Chris Petersen was named head coach of the Broncos. Wilcox also was defensive coordinator at Tennessee (2010-11), Washington (2012-13) and USC (2014-15) before guiding Wisconsin’s defense this past season.
Prior to that, Wilcox played defensive back at Oregon from 1996-99 in his native Eugene before getting his first coaching job as a graduate assistant at Boise State.
USC coach Clay Helton fired Wilcox following the 2015 season after the Trojans finished 65th in the nation in total defense. But the Badgers quickly scooped him up, and they finished 7th in the country allowing 301.4 yards per game on their way to a Cotton Bowl victory.
Hiring Wilcox appears to be the perfect move for a Cal team that finished last season 125th nationally in total defense giving up an average of 518.3 yards per game. The Golden Bears also were 123rd in tackles for loss and 107th in sacks.
The move for Wilcox should be seamless considering his Pac-12 ties and his familiarity with recruiting on the West Coast.