Tim DeRuyter, who helped rebuild a laughingstock Cal defense into a force, will become the new defensive coordinator at Pac-12 rival Oregon, according to multiple media sources.
Cal’s defense has been particularly effective against the Ducks the past two seasons, holding coach Mario Cristobal’s team to season lows of 17 points each year.
FootballScoop.com was first to announce the pending hire, which also was reported by the Register-Guard in Eugene.
Bears coach Justin Wilcox hired DeRuyter as his defensive coordinator after arriving at Cal before the 2017 season and DeRuyter had an immediate impact.
By their second season, DeRuyter and Wilcox helped lead the Bears to a bowl bid, thanks almost entirely to the defense. Cal ranked third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (20.4 points) and total defense (317.2 yards). A year later, the Bears again reached the postseason, powered by a defense that ranked fourth in the conference in those two categories.
The year before the new staff arrived, Cal was one of the worst defensive teams in the nation, surrendering 42.6 points per game. In 2013 the Bears allowed the astounding total of 45.9 points per game.
DeRuyter, 58, was co-defensive coordinator in 2020, although that was a misleading title. Peter Sirmon was promoted to defensive coordinator and made all the play calls.
DeRuyter coached Cal’s outside linebackers all four seasons in Berkeley and added the title associate head coach in 2020.
He was a semifinalist for the 2018 Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
At Oregon, DeRuyter replaces Andy Avalos, who took the head coaching position at Boise State this offseason.
Losing a coach to Oregon is a change in the narrative, with both Wilcox and Sirmon having played for the Ducks, along with Cal offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
DeRuyter came to Cal after spending four-plus seasons as head coach at Fresno State, where he compiled a record of 30-30 that was highlighted by a 9-4 record and Mountain West Conference title in 2013. His Bulldogs teams also won co-titles in 2012 and ’14.
A veteran of 31 years as a college coach, DeRuyter also had stints as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, Air Force, Nevada, Navy and Ohio.
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo