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Cal Football

Wilcox Signs Contract Extension

January 20, 2022

Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Cal program through the 2027 season and increases the salary pool for assistant coaches, the school announced Thursday .

"Justin Wilcox is a football coach who shares our values and vision, and we want to ensure that he is the leader of our program for the long term," Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. "He is a great fit for Cal Athletics and our university, with a philosophy that places an emphasis on developing young men on the field, in the classroom and as people. I am confident our fans and alumni share my enthusiasm for the direction of our program, and the level of success we have seen to date has set a foundation for sustained excellence in the future."

Wilcox has compiled a long list of accomplishments and recorded several signature wins in his first five campaigns at Cal, including leading the program to back-to-back winning seasons and bowl games in 2018 and 2019 for the first time in a decade. Cal finished the 2019 campaign with an 8-5 record that included a victory in the Big Game at Stanford and a Redbox Bowl win over Illinois to close the year. The Bears captured the Axe again in 2021 with a 41-11 victory at Stanford in November and completed the season with a 24-14 win over USC as part of a 4-2 record in the second half of the campaign.

"I appreciate the opportunity to be the head football coach at Cal and am excited about the future of our program," Wilcox said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have spent with the extraordinary young men who have been in our program. We are in a great position and strongly aligned with our university thanks to the leadership of Chancellor Carol Christ and Jim Knowlton. I thank both of them for their continued trust and confidence in me to lead a football program that will make the entire Cal community proud. We have very high expectations. I think we've earned the right to expect more, and that's exactly what we're going to do."

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting the 2020 campaign to four games, the Bears increased their numbers of wins over each of Wilcox's first three seasons, including a perfect 9-0 record in regular-season non-conference games, with four of the victories against Power 5 schools. During those three years, Cal defeated a Top-15 team each season and won games at USC, Washington, UCLA and Stanford.

The Bears earned a spot in the Cheez-It Bowl in 2018 and followed that with a 35-20 victory over Illinois in the 2019 Redbox Bowl.

"Since the beginning of his tenure, I have been impressed by Justin Wilcox's leadership, and his commitment to enabling our student-athletes to take full advantage of the academic and athletic opportunities we offer," Christ said. "He is, in my opinion, the quintessential Berkeley coach who understands the university's values, as well as the value his program brings to the campus as a rallying point for Cal's global community. College football is a highly competitive environment, and the investment represented in Justin's new contract is commensurate with all that I know he will contribute to our university in the years ahead."

Under Wilcox's leadership, the Cal football program has achieved notable levels of success not only on the field, but also in the classroom and the community.

In the classroom, the program announced its highest Graduation Success Rate ever at 84 percent, according to data released by the NCAA in December. During Wilcox's tenure, Cal has also recorded its top score in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate and highest team grade-point average. In addition, 29 Golden Bears were named to the 2020 Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll last fall, the highest number for a season in program history.

Fan support for the Bears has also increased since Wilcox took over his leading role. Student attendance nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018, and student ticket purchases were higher in 2021 than they had been in the past 10 years. In addition, Cal fans had a 95% season-ticket renewal rate for 2020 as compared to the 2019 campaign.

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Discussion from...

Wilcox Signs Contract Extension

32,811 Views | 181 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by calumnus
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BearSD said:

Just stopped by this thread to point out that ESPN's website has a new article posted today that confirms Wilcox was offered the Oregon head coaching job twice and turned it down.

Sounds like we missed an opportunity.

drizzlybears brother
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The hate runs deep on this board. Almost as much as the sense of entitlement.
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BearSD said:

Just stopped by this thread to point out that ESPN's website has a new article posted today that confirms Wilcox was offered the Oregon head coaching job twice and turned it down.


A move to Oregon made sense for Wilcox, and from the outside, it appeared to be a dream job for the 45-year-old.

Until it wasn't.

Sources close to Wilcox said the Oregon job initially came with some conditions related to the recruiting philosophy and possibly assistants to retain or hire. Those "spooked" the coach, one person said. Even when Oregon relaxed on some of those items, Wilcox didn't feel he could run the program like he wanted. He turned down Oregon's offer to become coach, sources said.

"It seemed like they wanted him to work in the gray area, and that's really not him," said a source close to Wilcox. "Justin is the kind of guy who likes to recruit kids that aren't interested in the Recaro leather seats. After he made up his mind, he just stuck with it."

Thanks, that's interesting. Sounds like a few more "insider" sources, though nothing officially from Mullens or Wilcox. As suspected, the offer to Wilcox was likely conditional on getting a high powered OC, going hard after 4 and 5 star talent and generally having less autonomy than he currently enjoys st Cal.

I can see why he turned it down, though I still don't think we needed to extend as a result. I think it would have been in Cal's interest to wait and see how the 2022 season goes, but hopefully we win 8 or more and it proves the decision to extend to have been a good one.
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Cal Strong! said:

BearoutEast67 said:

I like the extension. The timing is wise, and the increased pool for assistant coaches a necessity. Dare I say it's a Bear Necessity, a simple Bear necessity.

Increase your donations to Cal football rather than merely bark and moan.
Cal Strong is going to pull back on his donations until he sees that Cal football can win under Wilcox.

Throwing good money after bad into a losing venture WEAK!

If you pull back your money from Cal Football, you should consider giving the money you save to the academic side of Cal.
On that side Cal is always competing with the best universities (private and public) to be (remain) the best.
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I'm game w/Cal Strong.
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drizzlybears brother said:

The hate runs deep on this board. Almost as much as the sense of entitlement.

It is not hate. We like Wilcox as a person. But you just don't give a raise and contract extension like that out to a coach with a losing record after going 5-7 in his fifth year. It was not necessary. We could have waited until this season was over to evaluate. It is flushing money down the toilet.
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