CAL FOOT­BALL Wil­cox ex­pected to be­come head coach

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - SPORTING GREEN - By Rusty Sim­mons

Cal is ex­pected to hire Wis­con­sin de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Justin Wil­cox as its head foot­ball coach, a source told The Chronicle on Thurs­day night.

Un­less there are prob­lems in fi­nal con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions, he could be for­mally in­tro­duced at a week­end news con­fer­ence.

Wil­cox, 40, would re­place Sonny Dykes. Wil­cox has strong ties to the Bay Area. He was Cal’s lineback­ers coach for three sea­sons (200305) un­der Jeff Ted­ford, and his fa­ther, Dave Wil­cox, is a Hall of Fame line­backer who played with the 49ers.

Cal also in­ter­viewed in­terim head coach and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jake Spavi­tal and Navy head coach Ken Ni­u­mat­alolo. Wash­ing­ton’s Jonathan Smith and Pete Kwiatkowski (the Huskies’ of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tors, re­spec­tively) also were thought to be can­di­dates, and for­mer 49ers/Ea-

gles/Ore­gon head coach Chip Kelly and Cal alum and cur­rent Carolina Pan­thers head coach Ron Rivera were fan fa­vorites.

Un­der Wil­cox, Wis­con­sin’s de­fense ranked sev­enth in the coun­try this sea­son. Cal was 125th in the 128-team FBS.

Con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with Wil­cox were first re­ported by Fox Sports, which also broke the news of Dykes’ fir­ing Sun­day. Wil­cox is be­lieved to have been of­fered a pack­age deal that would in­clude bring­ing in for­mer Cal de­fen­sive line­man Tosh Lupoi — a re­cruit­ing maven who is Alabama’s out­side lineback­ers coach — as the Bears’ de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

In April, the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal re­ported that Wil­cox was sched­uled to be paid base salaries of $300,000 last sea­son and $650,000 next sea­son, with in­cen­tives push­ing his to­tal com­pen­sa­tion to $1.45 mil­lion in the two years.

He prob­a­bly will get more than dou­ble his base pay at Cal.

Dykes was fired af­ter flirt­ing with other schools and go­ing 1-11 against the Pac-12’s other Cal­i­for­nia schools in four sea­sons.

The Bears, 1-11 in Dykes’ first sea­son, im­proved in his sec­ond and third years and went to a bowl game in 2015. Cal re­gressed this past sea­son, los­ing four straight af­ter a 4-3 start, and fin­ished 5-7 to drop Dykes’ four-year record in Berke­ley to 19-30.

Cal still owes Dykes $5.9 mil­lion for the fi­nal three years of his con­tract.

With play­ers sched­uled to re­port Mon­day for off­sea­son con­di­tion­ing, Spavi­tal could stay as of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor al­though he is said to be field­ing other of­fers.

Justin Wil­cox

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