For Golden Bears who love the Cal connection, Mike Silver has this nice nugget: Former Cal great and current Illinois defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson got a look, and apparently did well in his job interview.
I'm told @hardynickerson, an alum who had a long NFL career for Steelers and Bucs, was extremely impressive in his interview. First-year DC.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 13, 2017
In case Tosh Lupoi doesn’t end up being the new defensive coordinator, I wonder if Nickerson might get a look. Illinois was not good at football last year, but their defense was decent. Keep an eye out there.
Also, the dream candidate for many Cal fans this cycle was Ron Rivera. The Carolina Panthers coach was contacted (along with Chip Kelly), but was quick to decline the opportunity to continue his NFL coaching career. It’s unclear what communication was like with Kelly and Cal.
Cal also reached out to Panthers coach Ron Rivera (who declined, saying he had unfinished business in Carolina) & Chip Kelly— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 13, 2017
- Jake Spavital
- Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo
- Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
In the end, Cal decided on Justin Wilcox over those other four. Time will tell whether the Bears made the right choice.