Wil­cox hir­ing a done deal, re­ports say

Wis­con­sin de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor said to be get­ting a 5-year deal, will be col­lege head coach for 1st time

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - SPORTING GREEN -

Wis­con­sin de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Justin Wil­cox has agreed to a five-year con­tract to be the new foot­ball coach at Cal, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports.

The news was first re­ported Fri­day night by the Mer­cury News.

Fi­nan­cial terms were not an­nounced and the school was not con­firm­ing the hir­ing.

Wil­cox, 40, has never been a head coach. He would re­place Sonny Dykes, whose of­fense-rich, de­fense-poor four-year run at Berke­ley ended af­ter this sea­son’s 5-7 show­ing. The Bears were 19-30 un­der Dykes.

Dykes was fired Sun­day, and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jake Spavi­tal was named in­terim coach. Spavi­tal was among those in­ter­viewed to re­place Dykes, but Fox

Sports’ Bruce Feld­man re­ported Fri­day that Spavi­tal has ac­cepted the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor job at West Vir­ginia.

Wil­cox is the son of for­mer 49er and NFL Hall of Famer Dave Wil­cox. Un­der him, the Bad­gers had the na­tion’s sev­enth-ranked de­fense this sea­son; Cal’s was 125th (out of 128 FBS schools).

Wil­cox pre­vi­ously coached at Cal, hav­ing been the lineback­ers coach for three sea­sons (2003-05) un­der Jeff Ted­ford. In ad­di­tion to Wis­con­sin, he has also been a de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at USC (2014-15), Washington (2012-13), Ten­nessee (2010-11) and Boise State (2006-09). At Boise State, he was on the staff of Chris Petersen, now the coach at Pac-12 cham­pion Washington.

Dykes, one of the high­est-paid em­ploy­ees in the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia sys­tem, still has three years re­main­ing on his Cal con­tract, which pays him about $3 mil­lion a year.

In ad­di­tion to the Bears’ re­gres­sion on the field — they played in a bowl game af­ter the 2015 sea­son, but then lost four of their last five this sea­son to scut­tle an­other post­sea­son berth — Cal of­fi­cials were un­happy that Dykes had in­ter­viewed for other jobs (Mis­souri a year ago, Bay­lor this sea­son).

“(We) want some­body who is com­mit­ted to Cal for the long term, some­body who re­ally wants to be at Cal and some­body who re­ally wants to build a win­ning pro­gram,” Cal ath­letic di­rec­tor Mike Wil­liams said Sun­day in the wake of Dykes’ fir­ing.

Dykes re­placed Ted­ford, who was fired af­ter 11 sea­sons when Cal went 3-9 in 2012.

Af­ter go­ing 1-11 in Dykes’ first sea­son, the Bears im­proved to 5-7 in his se­cond and in 2015 were 8-5 and won the Armed Forces Bowl.

This sea­son, Cal’s of­fense did its part — av­er­ag­ing 37.1 points per game (No. 22 in the na­tion) — but its de­fense was wretched. Three op­po­nents scored at least 50 points against the Bears and the team’s 42.6-pergame de­fen­sive scor­ing av­er­age was the sec­ond­worst in the coun­try — only Texas Tech (43.5) was worse.

Ted S. War­ren / As­so­ci­ated Press 2013

Justin Wil­cox has ex­pe­ri­ence as a de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at Boise State, Ten­nessee, Washington, USC and Wis­con­sin.

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