What is your favorite hire that Justin Wilcox has made and why? (if someone already suggests that hire, can you suggest your second favorite hire)?
boomtho: Steve Greatwood... great line play is the foundation of successful offenses, and Greatwood has an awesome pedigree (in the Pac-12 no less!!) and seems to be highly respected. The OL had a great year last year under Coach Jones, but I expect even better things going forward from Coach Greatwood.
mpeters10: I'm excited about the hire of Torre Becton as strength and conditioning coach. He's been successful everywhere he's coached. He has a proven track record of helping student-athletes acclimate to collegiate athletics on and off the field. Hopefully he can help our players stay healthy since that was a persistent issue for us, especially defensively, during the Sonny Dykes era.
Avinash: Beau Baldwin is a very important hire. Justin Wilcox believes that the Bear Raid needs tinkering rather than a complete overhaul. Cal is probably done with the Air Raid, but in terms of overall concepts, it will not be undergoing a systematic overhaul of their offensive scheme. They'll be relying more on a pass happy version of the spread which is similar in nature to the Air Raid, but will rely on more pro-style concepts and schemes. Hopefully with Baldwin we'll see minimal dropoff in offensive production (top 10-15 the last three seasons, it's unlikely we sustain it with a new quarterback) as he incorporates Robertson and Stovall and the enormous crop of WR talent we have into this new system. And I feel Baldwin can pair with Wilcox better than Dykes ever did with any of his defensive coordinators.
What hire has Justin Wilcox made that you're not so excited about and why?
boomtho: Hmm, at this point, I'd have to say Tim DeRuyter as DC. Not that it's a horrible hire... but it seems somewhat uninspiring, especially after how his defenses struggled his last couple years at Fresno State. Plus, I was super excited (as I think a lot of people were) at the chance of landing Coach Lake from UW, which I think further diminishes my enthusiasm for this hire. Luckily, Wilcox is a defensive guy and Coach Baldwin should be ready to basically run the offense, so I expect Wilcox to be heavily involved.
mpeters10: I'm fairly optimistic about the entire coaching staff at this point. I think Coach Wilcox has assembled what appears to be a very capable staff. I have some doubts, at least early on, about our ability to operate a 3-4 defense (I'm assuming that's what DeRuyter is going to run), though I believe he will do a decent job long term.
Avinash: Don't really know what to make of Charles Ragle. Not that I don't think he'll be a good recruiter, but it's not like Arizona is ever going to yield more than 2 or 3 recruits a year for Cal with the Pac-12 South and Big 12 schools swooping in to grab all the available talent there. Arizona's special teams (as Nick pointed out) were not terribly impressive, and Arizona fans aren't terribly depressed at losing him.
Will he do better with a greater pool of talent at Cal? We see that Pete Alamar went from a void of frustration to presiding over a Stanford special teams resurgence down South. Remains to be seen.