MADISON, Wis. — Justin Wilcox’ time as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator was short-lived, agreeing to a five-year contract to become the next head coach at Cal.
40-year-old Wilcox spent 11 months in Madison, leading the Badgers to a top-10 defense in points allowed, total defense, rushing defense, takeaways, and interceptions. He’ll leave behind a $950,000 salary with the Badgers in 2017 to head back to the west coast where he’s spent most of his career. From 2003-2005, Wicox coached linebackers at Cal | Berkley before taking roles as defensive coordinator at Boise State, Washington, and USC.
Who is likely to fill the void left behind at Wisconsin? Internal candidates are likely to be defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar, although Tibesar was passed over for the position last year when Dave Aranda left for LSU. No external candidates have emerged as of yet.
Wilcox takes over a Bears team that went 5-7 in 2016, good enough for fourth in the Pac | 12 North.