Cal head coach Justin Wilcox sidesteps Washington rumors
Wilcox has been circulated by several media sources as a potential candidate for the Washington Huskies coaching vacancy.
The Washington Huskies have begun their coaching search a few weeks early, firing Jimmy Lake after two weeks of drama—some bad press quotes, a firing of the team’s offensive coordinator, a suspension after striking a player.
The media buzz has started to pick up around potential candidates, with Cal head coach Justin Wilcox being circulated as a possibility. The first person to circulate the concept was Bay Area News Group writer Jon Wilner, who feels strongly that Wilcox is a candidate for the Washington job.
Former Washington quarterback Brock Huard has also voiced support for Wilcox being one of the primary candidates.
Bruce Feldman has also listed Wilcox as a potential candidate in his latest Athletic article.
There haven’t been any official reports that Wilcox is actually a candidate or who Washington is actually targeting, although Feldman did mention yesterday that Matt Campbell of Iowa State and Dave Aranda of Baylor would be in the mix.
Justin Wilcox addressed the rumors in his latest press conference with the media on Tuesday.
“I'm very fortunate to have the job I have, I think extremely highly of our players, not only as players. I love coaching these guys, our staff that I get to work with.”
“A million people would like to have my job. I don't take that for granted. In our profession, it seems to be that you're on one of two lists and that can change by the week."
Wilcox also mentioned that he wouldn’t really be commenting on any sort of coaching buzz, whether it was in regards to another job or his own.
"Getting into my own job security or other jobs, I just never talk about that. It doesn't serve anybody.”
Here’s his full press conference video.
Wilcox does have experience in Washington, having coached there for two years in 2012-13 under Steve Sarkisian as the Husky defensive coordinator. Wilcox would then follow Sarkisian to USC. Washington athletic director Jen Cohen was the assistant AD at the time, so she definitely has some familiarity with Wilcox.
Some other Big Game notes.
The Big Game depth chart was released. Two notable absences are left tackle Will Craig and guard McKade Mettauer. Brayden Rhome will again get the start at left tackle and Everett Johnson will also sub in for Mettauer. Craig did get injured, so it is unlikely COVID-related. Mettauer has tweeted about COVID restrictions before, so that might be more in line. Backup Bastian Swinney is also not listed on the two-deep.
Wilcox on Cal players and staff who tested positive for COVID: “Players, obviously, but a number of staff members … were able to come back and join us today. Last week, we tried to use the time and be as productive as possible with the players and coaches that were here. There was a limited number of available bodies so we weren't able to have a traditional practice. Now we're back at it for a more traditional week of prep starting yesterday.”
47 Golden Bears tested positive for COVID-19 in the Cal football program, with 31 symptomatic cases. The majority appear to be back and practicing after 10-day quarantine and subsequent negative tests.
On the Stanford side of things, starting quarterback Tanner McKee has been upgraded to probable. The Cardinal offense has looked listless without him, getting outscored in the first half 52-0 the last two weeks.
The remaining injury report for Stanford:
Probable: Ricky Miezan, Tucker Fisk, Kyu Blu Kelly, and Jonathan McGill Questionable: Tristan Sinclair, Elijah Higgins, and E.J. Smith
Out: Ari Patu, Stephen Herron, Casey Filkins, and Branson Bragg
Sixth-year senior Josh Drayden will set the record for most games played by a Cal football player on Saturday, passing Syd’Quan Thompson.
Cal opened as 4 point favorites over Stanford. The line has now dropped to 1 to 1.5, depending on what sportsbook you look at.
Reminder to Cal fans traveling to Big Game—bring your vaccine cards!