Cal Football: Update: Justin Wilcox's Name Disappearing from Reported Colorado Coaching Candidates

Jake Curtis

Although Cal head coach Justin Wilcox does not seem to be among the leading candidates for the vacant Colorado head coaching position, the Boulder, Colo., newspaper, the Daily Camera, continued to list him as someone of interest, as of Wednesday. However, the newspaper's report on Thursday did not include Wilcox among the top candidates, and by Friday Wilcox's name was nowhere to be seen.

The Athletic added two names to the contender list of Colorado coaching candidates (see below).

There is no evidence that Wilcox has any interest in the Colorado job, or that Colorado officials have even talked to Wilcox or any of his representatives. 

The Daily Camera reported Wednesday that, according to a Buffzone source, Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun interviewed for the Colorado job. The Daily Camera also noted that Adam Munsterteiger of reported that Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian interviewed Wednesday.

According to that Daily Camera report, speculation has centered on Calhoun, Sarkisian and former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.

However, Chris Low of ESPN reported that Sarkisian will remain at Alabama

On Wednesday, the Daily Camera also mentioned Justin Wilcox’s name on its list of possible candidates, although even the reporter noted that “on the surface it doesn’t make any sense.”

The Daily Camera provided information on all the men that might be candidates, with a paragraph on Wilcox listed last. Here is what the Daily Camera reported about Wilcox on Wednesday:

Justin Wilcox, California head coach: An intriguing name that popped up this week and on the surface it doesn’t make any sense. He’s only three years into his rebuild of the Golden Bears, going 20-18 overall, with improvement each season. Cal has had two consecutive bowl appearances for the first time in a decade. Cal’s athletic department is struggling financially, however, with budget shortfalls of $89 million in the past five years combined. CU could potentially offer a more stable situation. There would be a $2.5 million buyout of his contract to get him, but Wilcox has a proven track record at Cal and as a defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, USC, Washington, Tennessee and Boise State. (He worked as DC for Sarkisian for four years, at USC and Washington).”

On Thursday, the Daily Camera reported the following:

"With Sarkisian apparently out of the running, focus remains on others, including Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and CU interim head coach Darrin Chiaverini. Former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is also in the running."

On Friday, ESPN reported that Bieniemy has withdrawn his name for consideration at Colorado, so he is out too.

Station KDVR reported Thursday that Calhoun declined to confirm or deny reports that he is a candidate at Colorado.

There may be more candidates, according to The Athletic:

As we mentioned in our earlier report when Wilcox's name first came up in connection with the Colorado job, it does not seem possible that Wilcox would leave Cal for Colorado, which would be a lateral move within the same conference. Wilcox just hired three new assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, which is considered a nice hire that could help the offense significantly. The Bears have high expectations for the 2020 season, while Colorado must rebuild in several areas.

Colorado is seeking a replacement for Mel Tucker, who accepted the Michigan State head coaching job.