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Justin Wilcox agrees to contract extension to 2023

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The new 5 year deal adds 2 years to his last contract

NCAA Football: California at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cheez-It Bowl berth means that California Golden Bears Football head coach Justin Wilcox will be getting more cheddar, announced Cal Football today.

Cal head football coach Justin Wilcox, who will be leading the Golden Bears into the Cheez-It Bowl later this month, has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him with the school through the 2023 season.

Cal finished 7-5 overall during the 2018 regular season, and the Bears will next face TCU in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix, Ariz., the team’s first postseason appearance in three years.

”I want to thank Chancellor Christ and Jim Knowlton for their trust and confidence in me, as well as in our staff, to lead our team,” Wilcox said. “They share our collective vision for Cal football, and together we are building a program that makes our university and greater Golden Bear community proud on and off the field. I am thrilled to be the head football coach at Cal and have the opportunity to work with quality student-athletes every day. I am excited about our future in Berkeley.”

The new package extends an additional two seasons from Wilcox’s original agreement signed in 2017 and includes increased compensation, as well as a larger assistant coach salary pool designed to aid with recruitment and retention of the football staff.

Jon Wilner and the Mercury News has more details on the new deal, particularly the new pays for Wilcox.

Wilcox was set to earn an average of $2 million over the course of the five-year contract he signed upon taking the job in the winter of 2017.

The new deal pays him an average of $3.25 million, according to a source, slotting Wilcox in the middle tier of Pac-12 coaches.

Crucially, the deal features an increase of approximately $600,000 for the compensation pool for coordinators and assistants.

That’s a pretty sizable raise for Wilcox, one can only imagine how much more money he will earn if he ever brings the program back to the promised land that is the Rose Bowl. It will be interesting to see how the increased compensation pool for the assistant coaches get divided.

Congratulations to Coach Wilcox!

GO BEARS!

Update: Official Full Release from Cal Football

BERKELEY – Cal head football coach Justin Wilcox, who will be leading the Golden Bears into the Cheez-It Bowl later this month, has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him with the school through the 2023 season.

Cal finished 7-5 overall during the 2018 regular season, and the Bears will next face TCU in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix, Ariz., the team’s first postseason appearance in three years.

”I want to thank Chancellor Christ and Jim Knowlton for their trust and confidence in me, as well as in our staff, to lead our team,” Wilcox said. “They share our collective vision for Cal football, and together we are building a program that makes our university and greater Golden Bear community proud on and off the field. I am thrilled to be the head football coach at Cal and have the opportunity to work with quality student-athletes every day. I am excited about our future in Berkeley.”

The new package extends an additional two seasons from Wilcox’s original agreement signed in 2017 and includes increased compensation, as well as a larger assistant coach salary pool designed to aid with recruitment and retention of the football staff.

”Justin is a great representative of our University, and he is building a football program centered around character, purpose and developing the entire student-athlete,” Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “We are seeing tremendous momentum and increased support and engagement among our faculty, alumni, students and fans. With the trajectory of the program, we believe it is important to show a continuing and strengthened commitment to Justin and his staff by providing additional resources. The results of his two years have generated incredible excitement, and we are enthusiastic about the future.”

In his two years at the helm, Wilcox has transformed the Bears into a team that ranks among the conference and national leaders in nearly every defensive category. Cal is first in the Pac-12 in interceptions (17), turnovers gained (24) and team passing efficiency defense (112.70), as well as second in passing yards allowed (187.1 ypg), and third in scoring defense (21.2 ppg), total defense (319.4 ypg) and rushing defense (132.3 ypg). At the NCAA level, Cal is tied for fourth in defensive touchdowns (5) and tied for fifth in interceptions, while ranking among the top 35 in almost every defensive category.

On offense, Patrick Laird is on the verge of becoming only the third Cal player to ever amass a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons and has 2,124 career rushing yards. He became the first Cal player since Marshawn Lynch to rush for over 100 yards twice in the Big Game.

Cal has had several signature victories under Wilcox, including two wins against North Carolina, a home victory over Ole Miss and a road triumph at BYU as part of a 6-0 non-conference record. In Pac-12 action, the Bears defeated then-No. 8 Washington State, 37-3, in 2017 – Cal’s first win over a top-10 team in 14 years – while this past fall, the Bears earned wins over then-No. 13 and eventual Pac-12 champion Washington (12-10 in Berkeley) and at USC (15-14) for Cal’s first victory at the L.A. Coliseum since 2000.

During this past season, 11 football student-athletes were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, including first-team selections in Laird, Michael Saffell and Steven Coutts, while Jordan Kunaszyk was chosen first-team All-Pac-12 and Evan Weaver was voted to the second team. In addition, Laird, who sponsored a well-received summer reading challenge, was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy given to the top player in the country who began his career as a walk-on. He is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a member of the AFCA Allstate Good Works Team®. Kunaszyk was one of eight national semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors a defensive player for character and performance. Kunaszyk (Sports Illustrated) and Weaver (Pro Football Focus) also earned second-team All-American honors.