Cal shows faith in Wil­cox with new con­tract, raise

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - Staff and wire re­ports

It took Cal coach Justin Wil­cox only two sea­sons to earn a new con­tract and a 50 per­cent hike in pay.

The uni­ver­sity an­nounced Thurs­day that Wil­cox has agreed to a fiveyear deal that re­places his ex­ist­ing agree­ment and will keep Wil­cox un­der con­tract through the 2023 sea­son.

The Bears went 7- 5 this sea­son, beat No. 15 Wash­ing­ton and ended a 14-game los­ing streak against USC. Led by a de­fense that ranks 16th in the coun­try in fewest yards al­lowed per game, the Bears will play TCU in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix. It’s Cal’s first post­sea­son ap­pear­ance since 2015.

“We are see­ing tremen­dous mo­men­tum and in­creased sup­port and en­gage­ment among our fac­ulty, alumni, stu­dents and fans,” ath­letic di­rec­tor Jim Knowl­ton said in a news re­lease. “With the tra­jec­tory of the pro­gram, we be­lieve it is im­por­tant to show a con­tin­u­ing and strength­ened com­mit­ment to Justin and his staff by pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional re­sources. The re­sults of his two years have gen­er­ated in­cred­i­ble ex­cite­ment, and we are en­thu­si­as­tic about the fu­ture.”

Wil­cox was set to earn an av­er­age of $2 mil­lion over the course of the five-year con­tract he signed upon tak­ing the job in the win­ter of 2017. The new deal pays him an av­er­age of $ 3.25 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a source, slot­ting Wil­cox in the mid­dle tier of Pac-12 coaches.

The deal fea­tures an in­crease of ap­prox­i­mately $600,000 for the com­pen­sa­tion pool for co­or­di­na­tors and as­sis­tants. — John Wil­ner


WORLD CUP WARMUP AT LEVI’S » The top- ranked U.S. women’s soc­cer team is re­turn­ing to the Bay Area ahead of an­other World Cup run.

The Amer­i­cans will play host to South Africa on May 12 at Levi’s Sta­dium as part of the buildup to the Wom- en’s World Cup in France, U. S. Soc­cer an­nounced. Tick­ets for the game are sched­uled to go on sale to the pub­lic Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. through us­soc­

The de­fend­ing cham­pion U.S. team has sched­uled 10 games next year ahead of the World Cup, June 7 to July 7.

“This sched­ule checks a lot of im­por­tant boxes in our prepa­ra­tion for the World Cup,” coach Jill El­lis said. “We’ll get to ex­pe­ri­ence a va­ri­ety of teams in re­gard to their strengths and styles of play and al­most all of the coun­tries will be in their World Cup prepa­ra­tion as well.”

Four years ago, the Amer­i­cans de­feated Ire­land 3-0 at Avaya Sta­dium in a tuneup be­fore head­ing to Canada, where they won their World Cup ti­tle. The U. S. women have played four friendlies in the South Bay since the Earthquakes opened Avaya Sta­dium in 2015.

But this will be the team’s first ap­pear­ance at 68,500seat Levi’s, one of the stadiums be­ing con­sid­ered to have a role in the 2026 men’s World Cup.

The Amer­i­cans are led by for­mer col­le­giate stars Julie Ertz of Santa Clara, Alex Mor­gan of Cal and Chris­tian Press, Kel­ley O’Hara and Andi Sul­li­van of Stan­ford. — El­liott Al­mond

Men’s bas­ket­ball

SPAR­TANS END SKID » San Jose State ended a six-game los­ing streak by beat­ing Bethune- Cook­man 67- 65 at the Event Cen­ter. Michael Stead­man led the Spar­tans (2- 6) with 15 points and 13 re­bounds. He made a layup with 43 sec­onds left to give the Spar­tans a 66- 65 lead. ARI­ZONA RAL­LIES FOR WIN » Fresh­man guard Bran­don Wil­liams had his first ca­reer dou­ble- dou­ble and Bran­don Ran­dolph scored 14 of his 16 points in the se­cond half when Ari­zona (7-2) ex­tended its non­con­fer­ence home win­ning streak to 52 games with an 80- 69 vic­tory over Utah Val­ley (6- 4) at McKale Cen­ter in Tuc­son. NO. 23 MARY­LAND FALLS » Carsen Ed­wards scored 20 points and Aaron Wheeler had a sea­son-high 15 to help Pur­due (6- 3, 1-1 Big Ten) beat Mary­land (7-2, 1-1) in West Lafayette, Ind.


WIL­LIAMS, OWENS PART OF FFL » Ricky Wil­liams is among 50 for­mer NFL play­ers plan­ning yet an­other pro­fes­sional foot­ball league, the Free­dom Foot­ball League.

Wil­liams said a 10-team league that also in­cludes Hall of Fame re­ceiver Ter­rell Owens and ap­prox­i­mately 100 stake­hold­ers will be launched as a spring league. The Al­liance of Amer­i­can Foot­ball, co­founded by Hall of Famer Bill Po­lian, starts up in Fe­bru­ary. The XFL will re­turn the fol­low­ing Fe­bru­ary.

The FFL, which did not spec­ify what year it would be­gin play, would be fi­nanced by pri­vate fund­ing and pub­lic of­fer­ings, with league play­ers, lo­cal fran­chise op­er­a­tors and fans of­fered stakes in the teams.

Avoid­ing some ma­jor mar­kets, the FFL plans to have clubs in Oak­land, San Diego, St. Louis, Birm­ing­ham (Ala.), Ok­la­homa City, Port­land (Ore.), plus in Texas, Flor­ida, Ohio and Con­necti­cut.


EO­VALDI STAYS WITH BOS­TON » Nathan Eo­valdi is stay­ing with the Bos­ton Red Sox, agree­ing to a $68 mil­lion, four-year con­tract.

A right-han­der who has had a pair of Tommy John surg­eries, Eo­valdi, 29, was ac­quired by Bos­ton from Tampa Bay on July 25. He went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA down the stretch.

In six post­sea­son ap­pear­ances, Eo­valdi went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA and a .185 op­po­nent’s bat­ting av­er­age. AROUND THE MA­JORS » The In­di­ans and Car­los Car­rasco agreed to a $47 mil­lion, four-year con­tract, a deal that could keep him in Cleve­land through the 2023 sea­son. ... Cubs closer Bran­don Mor­row likely will miss the start of the sea­son fol­low­ing arthro­scopic surgery on his el­bow last month. ... Se­cond base­man Jonathan Schoop and the Twins agreed to a $7.5 mil­lion, one-year con­tract. ... The Braves hired pitch­ing coach Rick Kranitz, who served in the same role for NL East ri­val Philadel­phia last sea­son.


FOUR- TIME CHAM­PION CLEARED » Idi­tarod of­fi­cials have cleared a four-time cham­pion of any wrong­do­ing in a dog- dop­ing scan­dal that fol­lowed the sled dog race last year. Of­fi­cials for the 1,000-mile race is­sued a state­ment this week ab­solv­ing musher Dal­las Seavey of any in­volve­ment in the drug­ging of his dogs, the An­chor­age Daily News re­ported.


Cal coach Justin Wil­cox, who re­ceived a new five-year deal Thurs­day, will guide the Bears into the Cheez-It Bowl.

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