"I couldn't be more excited to become head football coach at the University of California," Wilcox said in a statement. "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."
Wilcox is certainly familiar with the Golden Bears program, having served as the linebackers coach from 2003-05. That time, along with his years as defensive coordinator of both USC and Washington gives him the Pac-12 history that the school was looking for in hiring a new coach.
"Justin is a smart, driven person of high character with a proven track record of success," athletic director Mike Williams said. "As a former assistant 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 led the No. 7 defense in the country at Wisconsin and his teams have consistently ranked among the best in the nation."
Wilcox was with the Badgers for just one season, but was extremely productive in that short period of time. Taking over the defense after Dave Aranda left for LSU following the 2015 campaign, Wilcox helped that unit finish fourth in the country in scoring defense, and seventh overall as a unit.
He has a massive task ahead in fixing the Bears defense, as that unit ranked second-last in the country in 2016, allowing a whopping 42.6 points per game.
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.