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California Golden Bears Q&A with Write For California

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Justin Wilcox took over for the all-offense, no-defense Sonny Dykes, who was also an almost exactly .500 coach (at least, if you give him a mulligan for a disastrous year zero in 2013). Dykes was not a great cultural fit in Berkeley and spent much of his last 1-2 years looking for other jobs, so Wilcox was about trying to find a guy who understood Cal and would recruit California generally and the Bay Area specifically. That Wilcox also happened to be defensively minded was probably another plus in the minds of those running Cal athletics at the time. And sure enough, he immediately fixed Cal’s defense and immediately broke Cal’s offense, and that baseline reality hasn’t particularly changed across his entire tenure. Cal fans generally really like Wilcox as a person and program leader; he’s patient, squeaky clean, says all the right things, impresses all the right people. He’s led a couple of fun upset wins and broke a couple of miserable rivalry losing streaks to USC and Stanford. But there’s frustration at how clearly the program has plateaued and the inability of the current regime to figure out how to build an average offense. Not enough frustration that I’d expect any kind of coaching change, but frustration nonetheless. Pat Rick Note: I refuse to move on from this question without posting THE Justin Wilcox GIF, so let’s just get it out of the way now so we can keep going.

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