As reported last night, Nicholas Edwards is indeed joining the Cal coaching staff, and he’ll be coming on as the new Golden Bear wide receivers coach. Edwards served under Beau Baldwin at Eastern Washington in a similar capacity. He was the receivers coach at Eastern Washington for three years, and was previously a walk-on receiver at EWU under Baldwin when the Eagles won a national championship in 2010.
Edwards will be replacing Jacob Peeler (outside wide recievers coach) and Mark Tommerdahl (inside receivers coach/special teams) in coaching one of the deepest wide receiving corps in the nation. Cal did lose Chad Hansen and Bug Rivera this season, but will be returning pretty much everyone else, including Demetris Robertson, Melquise Stovall, Jordan Veasy, Vic Wharton, Ray Hudson, Brandon Singleton, Jordan Duncan, Jack Austin, Kanawai Noa... you get the idea. Cal has a lot of wide receivers this season. There’s a huge margin for error, and Edwards should be able to get excellent production out of this group.
"Nicholas has a great story going from former walk-on to unanimous All-American to a bright young coach," Wilcox said. "He comes highly recommended from our offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, who was both his coach and a colleague at Eastern Washington. Beau has a ton of confidence in Nicholas' abilities as a coach, recruiter and mentor. The two developed an excellent relationship during their time together at Eastern Washington. It's critical our coaches are like-minded and on the same page, and these two have proven that they are."
"I'm excited for the opportunity coach Wilcox has given me," Edwards said. "The University of California is a place with tremendous history and tradition both on and off the field. I'm ready to work hard to help continue building that and improving the Cal football program."
Eastern Washington had outstanding seasons in 2014 and most recently in 2016 when the Eagles compiled a 12-2 overall record with one of the victories a road win at Pac-12 opponent Washington State. Eastern Washington reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs and were a perfect 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference to win its second league title during Edwards' three seasons on the coaching staff.
Eastern Washington was also Big Sky champions in 2014, finishing 7-1 in league play and 11-3 overall en route to a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS playoffs.
Edwards coached four-time Eastern Washington All-American wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who totaled 428 receptions, 6464 receiving yards and 73 touchdown catches over 52 career games while shattering many of Edwards' records and career marks. Kupp compiled over 100 catches, 1400 receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions during each of the three campaigns he was coached by Edwards. Kupp had career highs of 117 receptions (also a single-season school record) and 1700 receiving yards as a 2016 senior.
Kupp was also one of three Eagles' receivers in 2016 with over 75 catches and 1150 receiving yards with the others Kendrick Bourne (79-1201, 7 TD) and Shaq Hill (77-1157, 17 TD).