BERKELEY – Cal head coach Justin Wilcox announced Wednesday that Nicholas Edwards has agreed to become the Golden Bears' wide receivers coach. Edwards has been in the same role for the last three seasons (2014-16) at his alma mater Eastern Washington working under new Cal offensive coordinator and then Eagles' head coach Beau Baldwin.
"Nicholas has a great story going from former walk-on to unanimous All-American to a bright young coach," Wilcox said. "He comes highly recommended from our offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, who was both his coach and a colleague at Eastern Washington. Beau has a ton of confidence in Nicholas' abilities as a coach, recruiter and mentor. The two developed an excellent relationship during their time together at Eastern Washington. It's critical our coaches are like-minded and on the same page, and these two have proven that they are."
"I'm excited for the opportunity coach Wilcox has given me," Edwards said. "The University of California is a place with tremendous history and tradition both on and off the field. I'm ready to work hard to help continue building that and improving the Cal football program."
Eastern Washington had outstanding seasons in 2014 and most recently in 2016 when the Eagles compiled a 12-2 overall record with one of the victories a road win at Pac-12 opponent Washington State. Eastern Washington reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs and were a perfect 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference to win its second league title during Edwards' three seasons on the coaching staff.
Eastern Washington was also Big Sky champions in 2014, finishing 7-1 in league play and 11-3 overall en route to a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS playoffs.
Edwards coached four-time Eastern Washington All-American wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who totaled 428 receptions, 6464 receiving yards and 73 touchdown catches over 52 career games while shattering many of Edwards' records and career marks. Kupp compiled over 100 catches, 1400 receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions during each of the three campaigns he was coached by Edwards. Kupp had career highs of 117 receptions (also a single-season school record) and 1700 receiving yards as a 2016 senior.
Kupp was also one of three Eagles' receivers in 2016 with over 75 catches and 1150 receiving yards with the others Kendrick Bourne (79-1201, 7 TD) and Shaq Hill (77-1157, 17 TD).
In 2015, Kupp became only the second wide receiver in 42 years to win the Big Sky Offensive MVP Award and was a first-team all-league selection. Bourne added second-team All-Big Sky honors and EWU led the FCS in passing offense (353.3 ypg).
Three of Edwards' receivers earned All-Big Sky Conference accolades in his debut season in 2014 led by Kupp as a first-team selection after catching 104 passes to break the previous school record of 95 set by Edwards in 2011. Hill (third team) and Bourne (honorable mention) were also honored by the league after EWU led the FCS in scoring offense (44.1 ppg) while ranking second in passing offense (328.6 ypg) and third in total offense (513.4 ypg).
Edwards began his playing career as a walk-on at Eastern Washington under Baldwin before eventually starting 45 of the 50 games he played in and 51 possible overall during his career. He played in all 38 EWU games his first three seasons until a knee injury sidelined him for part of his senior campaign. Edwards finished his career ranked among Eastern Washington's all-time leaders in touchdown receptions (2nd, 33), receptions (4th, 215), receiving yards (5th, 2634) and points scored (6th, 202). He finished fifth all-time in the school's history in receiving yards with and was sixth in points scored. As a junior in 2011, Edwards was selected to nine FCS All-America teams – including seven first-team selections – after catching a school-record 95 passes for 1250 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead the FCS. Edwards helped the Eagles win the 2010 FCS national title as a sophomore when he started all 15 games and had 57 catches for 614 yards with seven touchdown grabs.
Edwards was on offseason NFL rosters with Arizona and Seattle and turned down an opportunity to play for Edmonton in the CFL before moving full-time into coaching in 2014. He also served at EWU in the fall of 2013 as a strength and conditioning assistant after receiving his bachelor's degree in recreation management from the school in 2012.
Edwards and his wife, Macca, have two sons, Kashmir and Kyrie.
NICHOLAS EDWARDS FILE
Birthdate: December 23, 1989
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
High School: Foss HS
College: Eastern Washington, 2012, Recreation Management
Family: Wife, Macca; Sons, Kashmir and Kyrie
Season: Team – Position (Champions, Postseason)
2013: Eastern Washington – Strength and Conditioning Assistant (Big Sky Champions, FCS Playoffs)
2014: Eastern Washington – Wide Receivers (Big Sky Champions, FCS Playoffs)
2015: Eastern Washington – Wide Receivers
2016: Eastern Washington – Wide Receivers (Big Sky Champions, FCS Playoffs)