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Former NFL playcaller Bill Musgrave emerges as Cal offensive coordinator candidate

A name emerges!

Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

As usual, it’s a name not on anyone’s radar that has popped up as a strong candidate to be the next California Golden Bears offensive coordinator.

Bruce Feldman reports that NFL offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has emerged as a primary possibility to be the next Cal OC.

For the last two decades, Musgrave has bounced around the NFL as an assistant coach, primarily as an offensive coordinator. He’s had stops with the Eagles, Panthers, Jaguars, Redskins, Falcons, Vikings, Eagles, Raiders, and then Broncos again. Bay Area fans are probably familiar with his last stint in Oakland with Jack Del Rio. He has only coached two years in college with Virginia in 2001-02.

Musgrave doesn’t have any direct connection with Justin Wilcox, outside of the fact they both played at Oregon. But he does have a connection with recently retired offensive line coach Steve Greatwood, who was part of the Oregon staff when Musgrave set dozens of conference records at quarterback in the late 80s.

Musgrave’s offenses have always graded out as fairly average to good in the NFL. Musgrave tends to max out his talent, which would be good at the college level. Schematically, they are based mainly in old West Coast offensive schemes, so the offense you get is very much prototypical pro-style. For developing a quarterback like Chase Garbers and an offense that ranked in the bottom tier of Power 5 units, this might be the right hire at this particular moment.

However, the flip side is his ability to recruit, the ability for Cal to retain him, his ability to develop younger talent, and whether he can adapt to the variety of college defenses he is likely to face. There are lots of questions with this hire as well.