UPDATED Cal Football: Co-DC Tim DeRuyter reportedly leaving for Oregon

Huge loss for the Golden Bears to lose one of the architects of the defensive turnaround.

Update: We previously reported that DeRuyter’s 2020 salary was $393,334 per the USA Today. However, a story by the Register Guard notes he received a $300,000 retention fee for a total compensation of “$8250,000”. It is likely that his salary was anywhere between $693,334–825,000 and was not significantly affected by the internal coaching shuffle between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. I apologize for the misinformation.

Original: Per reports, Oregon/WFC North just got a little WFC-ier by hiring Tim DeRuyter as their new defensive coordinator. DeRuyter was reportedly head coach Mario Cristobal’s first choice.

Early on in his search for a defensive coordinator to replace Andy Avalos, sources shared with FootballScoop that Cristobal planned to speak with a number of candidates to hear ideas from some of the best available defensive minds; but that the one person he truly was hoping to hire was DeRuyter.

DeRuyter joined the Bears in 2017 as part of Justin Wilcox’s new administration—defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach. For the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he turned his focus to the outside linebackers before shifting in 2020 to become co–defensive coordinator, associate head coach, and outside linebackers coach; Peter Sirmon was listed as the defensive coordinator and reportedly had playcalling duties. Former defensive backs coach, leader of the Takers, and fan favorite Gerald Alexander (who was with the team during DeRuyter’s time as DC from 2017–2019) congratulated DeRuyter for the move and called this “the position [DeRuyter] deserves to be in”.

Back in 2019, DeRuyter was reportedly a top candidate for UNLV’s head coach; some believe that the switching of roles between DeRuyter and Sirmon was an anticipatory move for a DeRuyter departure.

It’s tough to compare the team’s 2020 performance to past years due to crazy COVID conditions, but the defense seemed to take a minor step back with DeRuyter’s reduced role in terms of points allowed per game:

DeRuyter and Wilcox’s turnaround of the defense was legendary and this hire is a big gain for Oregon and a big loss for Cal. He was a semifinalist for the 2018 Broyles Award, honoring the nation’s top assistant; he and Sirmon were named FootballScoop’s award for Linebackers Coaches of the Year for Evan Weaver’s monstrous 2019 season.

DeRuyter has helped orchestrate dramatic improvements on the defensive side of the ball throughout his first three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Cal including cutting opponents' scoring from No. 127 the season before his arrival (42.6 ppg) to No. 22 in 2018 (20.4 ppg) and No. 33 in 2019 (21.9 ppg). Through the end of the 2019 season, Cal has held 18 of its last 20 opponents to 25 points or [fewer].

The Golden Bears and Wilcox likely now look to hire a replacement to coach the outside linebackers.