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Cal Football

Wilcox Signs Contract Extension

January 20, 2022
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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

16,846 Views | 180 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Dgoldnbaer
calumnus
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2027 season will be his 11th year, which would tie Jeff Tedford for the longest tenure as a Cal coach.

Kind of crazy to cite the Redbox Bowl win over 6-7 #73 ranked Illinois as the 5 year highlight justifying 6 more years. I'm not sure why Knowlton thought this was necessary or in Cal's interest. It is pretty much unprecedented. Wilcox is the second longest tenured coach in the conference and now he has the longest contract.

I just hope all the Wilcox fans are proved to be right.
calBlitz
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I like Wilcox, but given the results so far, can any insider (or anyone) explain the logic behind this.
BearSD
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calumnus said:

2027 season will be his 11th year, which would tie Jeff Tedford for the longest tenure as a Cal coach.

Kind of crazy to cite the Redbox Bowl win over 6-7 #73 ranked Illinois as the 5 year highlight justifying 6 more years. I'm not sure why Knowlton thought this was necessary or in Cal's interest. It is pretty much unprecedented. Wilcox is the second longest tenured coach in the conference and now he has the longest contract.

I just hope all the Wilcox fans are proved to be right.
I don't claim to have inside information on the administration's thinking, but...

(1) Seems likely that working out an extension and providing more money for staff was offered to Wilcox when he was offered the Oregon job.

(2) I am realistic. Wilcox is not Nick Saban or even Kyle Whittingham. But if "Let's Make A Deal" says that we can either keep Wilcox or take whomever Knowlton and his search agency put behind Door #2, I've seen the basketball evidence, so I'm taking Wilcox over Knowlton's Door #2.
Cal Strong!
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Cal Strong was on the fence about Knowlton. But now it clear: he need to be drawn and quartered . . . figuratively . . . but strongly.

Wilcox has done nothing to merit an extension of any sort. SIX YEARS?!?!! That WEAK!!!

Tedford was here for 11 years. But he won a share of two conference titles, won six or more games NINE times, had the stadium packed lots of times, and had us finished ranked on several occasions. Comparatively and strongly speaking, Wilcox isn't worthy of holding Tedford's jock strap.

This extension likely means more losses to teams like TCU, WSU, and Nevada. More empty stadiums. More getting out-recruited by stanfurd. More below-mediocrity. More weakness.
Cal Strong!
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Also, this article cites Wilcox going 4-2 in the second half of the season.

That sounds a lot like how Tedford, in his later years, would point to us winning the second half in 35 point blowout losses.
Big C
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BearSD said:

calumnus said:

2027 season will be his 11th year, which would tie Jeff Tedford for the longest tenure as a Cal coach.

Kind of crazy to cite the Redbox Bowl win over 6-7 #73 ranked Illinois as the 5 year highlight justifying 6 more years. I'm not sure why Knowlton thought this was necessary or in Cal's interest. It is pretty much unprecedented. Wilcox is the second longest tenured coach in the conference and now he has the longest contract.

I just hope all the Wilcox fans are proved to be right.
I don't claim to have inside information on the administration's thinking, but...

(1) Seems likely that working out an extension and providing more money for staff was offered to Wilcox when he was offered the Oregon job.

(2) I am realistic. Wilcox is not Nick Saban or even Kyle Whittingham. But if "Let's Make A Deal" says that we can either keep Wilcox or take whomever Knowlton and his search agency put behind Door #2, I've seen the basketball evidence, so I'm taking Wilcox over Knowlton's Door #2.


We like everything about Wilcox except the W/L (okay, that last part is super-important, but still ... ).

We're hoping that, in this time of conference instability, we can capitalize by having a solid program that players and recruits can count on. The administration has placed great value on the fact that the players like and respect Wilcox.

Extending his contract sends a powerful message as to our stability and confidence in what we have going.

And I would be shocked if we didn't have some sort of buyout clause in there. Let's say things go way south in 2022 or 2023. I bet you, in that case, no possible way we would be on the hook for his full salary through 2027.

Signed,
- "Anyone"

PS: Was this a good idea? Highly debatable. Depends on what the buyout is, IMO.
Trumpanzee
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My calculations show Wilcox will be 52-56, if he finishes out his contract.....
calumnus
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Trumpanzee said:

My calculations show Wilcox will be 52-56, if he finishes out his contract.....


I think you are missing some games.

He is 26-28. 6 years of 12 games is 72 more games not counting bowls. If he goes .500 he would be 62-64.

Golden One
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Big C said:



Extending his contract sends a powerful message as to our stability and confidence in what we have going.


What we have going is a very mediocre football program. Stability in a losing program is worth nothing.
Strykur
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Cal Strong! said:

This extension likely means more losses to teams like TCU, WSU, and Nevada. More empty stadiums. More getting out-recruited by stanfurd. More below-mediocrity. More weakness.
If Wilcox starts losing Big Game repeatedly and piles up blowout losses, then yeah he will be shown the door, but he could win some stuff if he can get the offense to just average.
Cal Strong!
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Strykur said:

Cal Strong! said:

This extension likely means more losses to teams like TCU, WSU, and Nevada. More empty stadiums. More getting out-recruited by stanfurd. More below-mediocrity. More weakness.
If Wilcox starts losing Big Game repeatedly and piles up blowout losses, then yeah he will be shown the door, but he could win some stuff if he can get the offense to just average.
Cal Strong never understood why repeated close losses are a good thing. Doesn't that just mean that the teams are fairly matched, but that the other coach did a better job of convincing his guys to finish strong?
francisco2525
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This is why we will always be a mediocre team, when you have mediocre coaches, you have mediocre results. It is touch being a Cal Bear Fan.
oski003
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calumnus said:

Trumpanzee said:

My calculations show Wilcox will be 52-56, if he finishes out his contract.....


I think you are missing some games.

He is 26-28. 6 years of 12 games is 72 more games not counting bowls. If he goes .500 he would be 62-64.




Covid hits the program every year, and we play less than half our games
Big C
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Golden One said:

Big C said:



Extending his contract sends a powerful message as to our stability and confidence in what we have going.


What we have going is a very mediocre football program. Stability in a losing program is worth nothing.

Oh, I agree 100%. At some point, the sooner the better, we need to win. We used to be at a point where the 7-5 plateau was no longer going to be acceptable. The last two seasons and with this extension, we have lowered the bar/ moved the goalposts, pick your metaphor. What I mean is, we still aspire to more than seven wins, but with this new contract, I guarantee you that a 7-5 in 2022, in and of itself, wouldn't get Wilcox fired. He has bought himself even more time.

This had better work.
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
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calumnus said:

Kind of crazy to cite the Redbox Bowl win over 6-7 #73 ranked Illinois as the 5 year highlight justifying 6 more years. I'm not sure why Knowlton thought this was necessary or in Cal's interest. It is pretty much unprecedented. Wilcox is the second longest tenured coach in the conference and now he has the longest contract.
Not only that, but those 2 sorry *** bowls were already used as The Rationale for the 2020 extension. Why is that piteous feat being used yet again as the reason for another extension following the 2 subsequent losing seasons? Jimmy and Carol should've saved everyone's time and given him a 25-YEAR extension in 2020 and cited as justification the 7 points scored in the Cheeze-its, the unprecedented victory over losing-record Illini, and the fact that he GETS Cal, he just gets us, man.

I wouldn't mind this extension if he had ONCE in the past 5 years been a conf. title contender in mid-November instead of defec@ting 5 straight L conf. records. Quintessential rallying point, my hirsute ***.
kal kommie
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I would have hated this before he turned down Oregon. Now I'm more ambivalent.

Like everyone else I'm dissatisfied with the results. It's not just the W/L record, it's the persistent failure to field even an average Pac-12 offense that worries me. And this extension puts us in a straight-jacket. Basically no matter what happens on the field in the next few seasons, we can't fire Wilcox while if he does breakthrough here, we have no security -- I don't interpret his turning down Oregon as "he loves us!" or he's a paragon of loyalty.

But his rebuffing Oregon has swayed me because of the confidence in himself and the program that he must have to do it, particularly with the massive losses in highly experienced players we're suffering going into 2022. Wilcox has put down a gigantic bet on himself and his success with our program. It's hard not to be persuaded by the confidence it takes to turn down this kind of money.

Still, like Big C said...this had better work.
maxer
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The term of the contract doesn't mean anything. That's for recruiting. The buyout is the number that matters. Still don't know what that is.
Bobodeluxe
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The game has changed, and will evolve further. By 2027, there will be no Power Five, there will be massive upheaval, and looking for a new staff in that environment would be crazy. That said, I am cutting back to two ticket, if that, down from twelve a few years ago. I haven't been able to give more than one a game for a loooooonnngg time.

Go Laundry!
Boot
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Looks like the usual Bear Insider football brain trust.
You guys would be screaming if he'd gone to Duck land.
Mattlowe
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I do value the academic progress and the fact that he has integrity. I also think that the future of college football is up in the air. When you look at the NLI factor, the millions and millions you have to pay a top notch coach, the general interest of west coast college football, especially in California, I would not be surprised if it breaks into divisions. The semi pro division with teams like Alabama and LSU where coaches have huge contracts and players make millions on NLI deals and don't worry too much about school. Cal will never compete in that world. My daughter goes to Cal and I would rather have good kids playing hard on Saturdays at noon or 1pm to enhance the college experience instead of a semi pro team that loses at 7:30pm on some random TV channel.
calumnus
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maxer said:

The term of the contract doesn't mean anything. That's for recruiting. The buyout is the number that matters. Still don't know what that is.


You don't need 6 years for recruiting.
Cal Strong!
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The weakest thing is that Wilcox wasn't even a well thought out hire. We fired Dykes after the coaching carousel had already stopped. All the other candidates had already found new homes. Wilcox was what was left, due to the late date of the Dykes dismissal. It wasn't like he was some hot commodity like Tedford and (to a lesser extent) Dykes were. If we didn't hire him, he would probably still be a defensive coordinator, or maybe a FCS coach.

Now, after absolutely no major achievements, we are set to keep paying his salary for an eleventh year.

The good (also bad) news is that there is nothing more prescient than a long-term extension for a Cal coach to foretell we will probably fire him next offseason.
calumnus
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Boot said:

Looks like the usual Bear Insider football brain trust.
You guys would be screaming if he'd gone to Duck land.


You can't defend it so you resort to personal attacks and incorrect assumptions.

I do hope Wilcox turns it around in year 6 and then builds on that in year 7 to make this work.
BearoutEast67
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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.
CaliforniaEternal
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This extension adds 2 years to the previous contract. Maybe in another 5 years Wilcox will have more Cheezit Bowl and Redbox Bowl appearances under his belt.

By the way, his bonus if the team hits a 1000 APR is higher than winning a P12 championship or making the CFP playoff. That tells you where Cal's priorities are.
Oski87
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CaliforniaEternal said:

This extension adds 2 years to the previous contract. Maybe in another 5 years Wilcox will have more Cheezit Bowl and Redbox Bowl appearances under his belt.

By the way, his bonus if the team hits a 1000 APR is higher than winning a P12 championship or making the CFP playoff. That tells you where Cal's priorities are.
On education?
BearGoggles
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calumnus said:

maxer said:

The term of the contract doesn't mean anything. That's for recruiting. The buyout is the number that matters. Still don't know what that is.


You don't need 6 years for recruiting.
You're missing the point. It could be 6 years or 60, but the only thing that matters is the buyout. If the buyout is low/reasonable, then the remaining term doesn't matter.

At the same time, it will be interesting to see what Wilcox's buyout is if he wants to leave. My guess is that both numbers will be relatively low given the current market.
HoopDreams
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I like Wilcox and think he's a good coach who is learning, and therefore hopefully improving

I like we kept him, and sounds like we've increased his budget for his assistant coaches, so that helps him succeed too

(I don't like his choice for OC as I don't think that offense fits our recruiting ability)

Powerhouse and big dollar Oregon thinks he's a good coach too, so I'm not alone
Cal Strong!
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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!
SurvivorOf1and10fkaLEA
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Call me old fashioned, but the primary objective of a university is education. It is not to make money or entertain the masses with a sport.

Wilcox is a great human being who recruits, develops and graduates high caliber young men whom I can take pride in representing my alma mater out in the real world.

I hate what has happened to college
/amateur athletics in recent decades. I find know need for a great bastion of enlightenment like the University of California to try to keep up with clown colleges like LSU, Alabama, or Oregon that have little to offer the world beyond athletic entertainment. I have professional sports teams I can root for to provide that form of entertainment.

I suggest some of you find your sense of self-worth in something less futile than how an academic institution competes in the sinister world of for-profit sports.
calumnus
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BearGoggles said:

calumnus said:

maxer said:

The term of the contract doesn't mean anything. That's for recruiting. The buyout is the number that matters. Still don't know what that is.


You don't need 6 years for recruiting.
You're missing the point. It could be 6 years or 60, but the only thing that matters is the buyout. If the buyout is low/reasonable, then the remaining term doesn't matter.

At the same time, it will be interesting to see what Wilcox's buyout is if he wants to leave. My guess is that both numbers will be relatively low given the current market.


I seriously doubt he got extended to 2027 with his buyout reduced. Especially if the reason was Oregon reportedly offered.
calumnus
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SurvivorOf1and10fkaLEA said:

Call me old fashioned, but the primary objective of a university is education. It is not to make money or entertain the masses with a sport.

Wilcox is a great human being who recruits, develops and graduates high caliber young men whom I can take pride in representing my alma mater out in the real world.

I hate what has happened to college
/amateur athletics in recent decades. I find know need for a great bastion of enlightenment like the University of California to try to keep up with clown colleges like LSU, Alabama, or Oregon that have little to offer the world beyond athletic entertainment. I have professional sports teams I can root for to provide that form of entertainment.

I suggest some of you find your sense of self-worth in something less futile than how an academic institution competes in the sinister world of for-profit sports.


If you don't expect more, why pay $3million a year for a football coach? There are many good human beings out there who can recruit high caliber young men to Cal that will graduate and you can be proud of as we continue to finish in the bottom of the division.



SurvivorOf1and10fkaLEA
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You're better than resorting to false dichotomies to make a point. I'm not saying I don't want Cal to win at football. There is entertainment value in rooting for a winning football program as an alum. I'm just saying that the overall objectives, standards, and values of the glorious University of California Golden Bears has to be different and better than that of the Washington State University Cougars or South Carolina Gamecocks or a professional sports franchise.
82gradDLSdad
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kal kommie said:

I would have hated this before he turned down Oregon. Now I'm more ambivalent.

Like everyone else I'm dissatisfied with the results. It's not just the W/L record, it's the persistent failure to field even an average Pac-12 offense that worries me. And this extension puts us in a straight-jacket. Basically no matter what happens on the field in the next few seasons, we can't fire Wilcox while if he does breakthrough here, we have no security -- I don't interpret his turning down Oregon as "he loves us!" or he's a paragon of loyalty.

But his rebuffing Oregon has swayed me because of the confidence in himself and the program that he must have to do it, particularly with the massive losses in highly experienced players we're suffering going into 2022. Wilcox has put down a gigantic bet on himself and his success with our program. It's hard not to be persuaded by the confidence it takes to turn down this kind of money.

Still, like Big C said...this had better work.


Turning down Oregon may have very little to do with his confidence level. I take it to mean, "I don't want to deal with that win at any cost mentality and I'm much more comfortable with coaching for a program that appreciates competitive teams and scholar athletes". There is a lot of 'good' in this line of thinking but I don't think that 'good' translates into anything but a .500 football team unless Wilcox has the pulse of the high school football player community and sees a rise in great players that want to come play at a great academic school for a normal, standup guy.
Boot
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Nailed it.
 
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