Cal interviewed offensive coordinator Jake Spavital on Tuesday. Given that we’ve heard no official word yet on that front, I’d venture to guess the Bears still want to see what’s out there from all the available candidates they’ve lined up.
247Sports reports on one such upcoming interview: Wisconsin defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will be getting a call up. Wilcox was the first name bandied about after the firing of Sonny Dykes, so I imagine he’s near the top of the list for athletic director Mike Williams.
Idle speculation time!
I have no idea what would happen on the offensive side of the football, but if Wilcox was to be hired, a potential defensive coordinator on his staff could be Peter Sirmon. Prior to last season, Sirmon coached with Wilcox for a long time, serving as linebackers coach at Tennessee, Washington and USC (also recruiting coordinator at the last two stops) where Wilcox was defensive coordinator.
Sirmon served as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State this season, but could potentially be on the outs after one year. Sirmon could serve in the same capacity as DC and recruiting coordinator at Cal, or perhaps could welcome a return to his original role as linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator if Wilcox didn’t. Cal might have to move fast to hire Wilcox though; if he gets axed by the Bulldogs other programs are targeting Sirmon too.
The other likely candidate for Wilcox’s DC would be Tosh Lupoi. We’ve gone over the case for his return ad nauseum. The Alabama outside linebackers coach won a national championship last year and came very close to winning another. His talent as a recruiter and a coach have borne fruit at Cal and elsewhere. The outside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator has obvious Cal roots and would probably be excited at a chance to return to his alma mater and rejuvenate the program.
Or why not both? Co-defensive coordinators have become a vogue deal at many programs. Depending on who Wilcox likes more, one takes on the defensive playcalling roles and the other could get the title and handle more of the recruiting side of things.
Also, since Wilcox is a defensive playcaller in his own right, you’d imagine he’d be like the defensive version of Jeff Tedford, with a lot of creative input over gameday decisions.
If Wilcox were to be hired with Sirmon or Lupoi as his defensive coordinator, you’d have to feel far more confident about the future of the Cal defense. Now the offense, on the other hand...
Cal fans, your thoughts on Wilcox as a candidate?