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Cal announces the hiring of head coach Justin Wilcox; Jake Spavital officially departs

It’s officially official.

Justin Wilcox, new Cal head coach

No more reports needed. The California Golden Bears have a new head coach. Welcome Justin Wilcox to Berkeley!

Wilcox’s press conference is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. I’d imagine the press conference will be streamed by Cal Athletics and the Pac-12. Stay tuned.

Wilcox’s deal was originally reported as five years by ESPN. Terms have yet to be disclosed.

Wilcox had these public remarks via CalBears.com (full press release available by clicking here):

"I couldn't be more excited to become head football coach at the University of California," Wilcox said. "It has been a dream of mine to lead a college football program and there's no better place than here at Cal where I got my start and at a school that means so much to me. I would like to thank Director of Athletics Mike Williams and his staff for putting their trust in me with the Cal football program. I'm looking forward to getting to know our team and hiring our staff, and we will get to work immediately recruiting student-athletes of high character who are good fits for Cal both academically and athletically. I can't wait to get started. Go Bears!"

Cal Athletic Director Mike Williams had this statement on Wilcox.

"Cal Athletics is about high academics, it's about a comprehensive student-athlete experience, and it's about winning championships," Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. "We have found a coach in Justin Wilcox who embodies all of those principles. Justin is a smart, driven person of high character with a proven record of success. As a former assistant coach for us, Justin understands what it takes to be successful at Cal – in the classroom and on the field. He has deep West Coast roots, having grown up and spent the bulk of his career in the Pac-12 and the conference footprint. Justin just led the No. 7 defense in the country at Wisconsin and his teams have consistently ranked among the best in the nation. I am confident we have found someone who is clearly the right fit for Cal."

Some additional remarks came from other coaches that Wilcox has worked with or played for.

Former Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti

"At an early age since his playing days at Oregon I could tell that Justin had a very high football IQ. I've watched him grow as a defensive coordinator over the last decade most recently with the tremendous job he did at Wisconsin last year, and I've certainly been very impressed. It was no surprise to me that a bright, young mind at an early age has become the head football coach at the University of California."

Former Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti

"Justin was one of the most competitive and knowledgeable players that I've ever had the opportunity to coach. It has never surprised me that he has become a great coach because he understands football, he understands the student-athletes and he can coach 'em up. His understanding of the game and his willingness to prepare will make Cal a better football program."

Wisconsin Head Coach Paul Chryst

"I'm truly very thankful for all that Justin did for our program and how he did it. In one year he had a big impact on our players, our staff and our families. He's very deserving of this opportunity. I'm extremely happy for him and wish him all the best."

Also, Wilcox will be officially looking for an offensive and defensive coordinator. Confirming earlier reports, Jake Spavital has been hired by West Virginia, ending speculation that he might join a Wilcox-led staff at Cal as the new offensive coordinator.

For those wondering who Wilcox might potentially hire, California Golden Blogs has a list of potential offensive coordinator candidates.

Cal fans, welcome Wilcox to Berkeley! What are your thoughts on this wild and wacky week in Bear Territory?