Justin Wilcox completes Cal coaching staff

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday February 26, 2017


Justin Wilcox has completed his Cal staff.

With the addition of Tony Tuoiti as outside linebackers coach, Wilcox has his nine full-time assistants. It’s Wilcox’s first head coaching job, after one year as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator.

Wilcox previously coached Cal’s linebackers from 2003-05. He returns to take over a program that has reached one bowl game in the last five years. Sonny Dykes rebuilt the program to an extent, but the school made a change, looking to increase interest.

As a coach without head coaching experience, one of the first things Wilcox did was hire head coaches. Offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin spent the last nine years as Eastern Washington head coach, going 85-32 and developing one of the best programs in FCS, with one of the top offenses, scoring 42.4 points per game last year. Wilcox also hired EWU wide receivers coach Nicholas Edwards to come with Baldwin.

Wilcox tapped former Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter to run the defense. DeRuyter spent the last five years at Fresno State and brings ties to the region. He was previously the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, Air Force, Nevada and Ohio.

For the rest of his staff, Wilcox hired several coaches with Pac-12 ties. That included active Pac-12 coaches in quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo (from UCLA), tight ends coach / special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle (from Arizona) and head strength coach Torre Becton (from USC).

He also hired former Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood, who spent the last 17 years at Oregon. New defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro spent one year with the 49ers and previously coached with the Eagles. He was Oregon from 2009-12.

To fill out the rest of the staff, Wilcox hired defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander from Montana State and outside linebackers coach Tony Tuioti from Fresno State. Tuioti spent last year as Michigan’s director of player personnel and had joined Fresno State in December. He brings ties to Hawaii, having played and coached there over a decade.

The Wilcox era will have a tough start to the 2017 season, opening at North Carolina, followed by home games against Weber State, Ole Miss and USC.

The potential addition of a 10th assistant coach could change things, but for now, keep track of new FBS staffs here. 

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.